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School’s Homecoming Couple Sparks ‘Hateful’ Comments

A same-sex couple was voted homecoming king and queen at Patrick Henry High School this weekend, but school district officials said the school has received numerous "hateful comments" regarding the election results.

Patrick Henry High School senior Rebeca Arellano was voted homecoming king at...
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Above: Patrick Henry High School senior Rebeca Arellano was voted homecoming king at a school pep rally. Her girlfriend and fellow student, Haileigh Adams, was crowned with the title of homecoming queen Saturday night at the school dance.

Students walk around Patrick Henry High School in San Diego on Oct. 31, 2011.
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Above: Students walk around Patrick Henry High School in San Diego on Oct. 31, 2011.

On Friday, senior Rebeca Arellano was voted king at a school pep rally. Her girlfriend and fellow student, Haileigh Adams, was crowned with the title of homecoming queen Saturday night at the school dance.

Both students told 10News they’re thrilled with the honor.

"They were chanting my name and it was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had," said Rebeca.

On Monday, San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Bill Kowba said the school has been inundated with calls and emails that were "hateful" and "disrupting the work of the school to focus on the education of students."

Kowba said he spoke with school board member Kevin Beiser, who represents the area where Patrick Henry High is located. Beiser said, "Hate and bullying have no place in public education. Our schools must offer all students with a safe environment for learning and we will ignore and reject these adult bullies who preach hate and intolerance."

During an interview with 10News on Friday afternoon, cars full of people drove by shouting out things like, "You guys are an amazing couple!"

Haileigh and Rebeca started dating in their sophomore year, which was the year Rebeca came out.

"She's really funny and, of course, beautiful, and she's just perfect to me," said Haileigh.

The girls said they've received an abundance of support from family, friends and most everyone at the school. The couple said they were not planning to run.

"Many of the guys are not happy about me running because I'm taking a guy's place, but if there was any other way to do it and have two lesbians that are a couple win, I would," Rebeca said.

Their nominations have made a difference for many students at Patrick Henry High School.

"The fact that other people are feeling more confident about themselves or feeling like they might have a chance at doing this, it's opening doors," Haileigh said.

Read the superintendent's full statement here.

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Avatar for user 'no_soup_for_you'

no_soup_for_you | October 31, 2011 at 7:35 p.m. ― 5 years, 4 months ago

Good for the girls! The bigots need to get a life.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | November 1, 2011 at 8:24 a.m. ― 5 years, 4 months ago

I'm all against hate e-mail, letters and phone calls. This can certainly be kept at a civil level, regardless of what one's position is. However, I can't help recalling a former AP @ CPH who once issued a warning over what he called a "homophobic" remark or joke that was uttered the day before over the same PA system, I believe. (I did not hear the original remark.) It may have been hurtful OR it may have been just a silly high school kid level remark. The point is, this AP who issued the warning, was A.J, the same ASB AP, who has yet to respond as to his accountability for involvement with the school's unpaid bills and missing (misappropirated?) ASB funds ($71,000, according to It is interesting to note that a man of no ethics, would at the same time be so supportive from a purely emotional point of view, if that is the correct word, of political correctness on campus in regards to homosexuality.

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Avatar for user 'Pondering1'

Pondering1 | November 1, 2011 at 8:31 a.m. ― 5 years, 4 months ago

Typical! I am not surprised Mr. Beiser ignored complaints and dismissed them as "hateful and intolerant" and not "traditional and wise." Anytime the LBGT community and its supporters listen to opposition, they call it "hateful and intolerant." California schools are in danger of more of this type of stuff because the CTA are huge supporters of the LGBT agenda. California public schools and its liberal staff propel children into the optional LBGT lifestyle.
I wish California law makers would consider a voucher program that would allow traditional families to move their children to private traditional schools.

California voters opposed Prop 8, so I assume there are a lot of students and families at Patrick Henry that oppose this liberal mindset. Unfortunately, they stay quiet and go into the closet because Mr. Beiser and liberal educators will shut them down and call them hateful and intolerant.

I don't support violence and bullying. Traditional families have the right to express their opposition within peaceful means and Mr. Beiser should find a better solution.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | November 1, 2011 at 12:34 p.m. ― 5 years, 4 months ago

Dear Pndering1,

The gay community is open to intellectual criticism, but unfortunately most negative responses regarding gay rights are presented just as your post is - A politically-charged attempt to stifle equality.

It is obvious from your "liberal mindset" comment that the issue is one of a broader desire to indoctrinate school students with right-wing politics.

I bet you also oppose any mention of global warming and contraception in schools too.

The facts are that as each day passes, homophobia erodes in the United States. You bring up the prop 8 vote, have you bothered to research where public opinion has moved since then?

It has moved in favor of gay marriage NATIONALLY, and, according to polls, if prop. 8 were voted on today it would be defeated.

We live in a society where people should be respected regardless of who they are as long as they are law-abiding citizens. Homosexuality is not illegal in this country, and gay students have every right to be who they are without fear of retaliation from teachers, administrators, or other students.

If your goal is some 50s-era vision of a "traditional family" then by all means you have every right to establish that in your own home, but once you enter public society there will be many different types of people who you and your children encounter. They deserve the same rights and respect as you and your children do.

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