School’s Homecoming Couple Sparks ‘Hateful’ Comments
Monday, October 31, 2011
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.
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.