School Crowns Student with Down Syndrome Homecoming King
Photo: Video by kmtv.com
LaVista, NE- It was an exciting finish to a winning homecoming game for the students at Papillion-La Vista South High School. The school is setting an example for others on accepting all students.
As a kick-off to their homecoming celebrations, the 2013-14 homecoming court was announced last week. The students that Jake Gehringer, a student with down syndrome, was one of the students selected to represent them on the homecoming court.
"For the student body of 1,500, the idea of inclusion in the classroom has reached far beyond when the school bell rings," Annette Eyman, spokesperson at Papillion-La Vista South High School said.
Jake's classmates don't just interact with him in English and math. He also plays the cymbals in the marching band, lifts weights, and is on the school's bowling team.
"He is one of us. He is not just a kid with down syndrome. He's literally just a student at our school and I think it's really sweet," said Jessica Hackett.
"The students have seen the strengths that Jake, and other students with disabilities, bring to their building and to their friendships. Papillion-La Vista South students want to make certain that all students feel welcome in their building. It isn't something they just strive for; it is something they do each and every day. It has become a part of their school culture," Eyman said.
When asked right before crowing about if he wanted to win, Jacob said it would be cool.
"I'm looking to just going to the dance and hanging out with my friends," he said.