DV breaks traditional barriers surrounding Homecoming

As the 2018 Homecoming dance comes to an end, we are prompted to reflect on a time of deep emotional stress and social judgment. Homecoming can often be perceived as a rather taxing event, placing a high standard in regards to the reputation of DV’s student population. In this field, Dougherty perseveres and asserts itself as an inclusive and socially aware school.

News articles have popped up over the last few years concerning the exclusion of same-sex couples attending school dances. Despite this ban being unconstitutional, several schools across the nation continue to discriminate against LGBTQ+ students in this manner. In stark contrast, Dougherty Valley provides its students with an inclusive environment and upholds its ideals to keep the students safe.

All of DV’s dances are considered unofficial Sadies, where anyone is at liberty to ask the person of their choosing. This norm encourages students to be more accepting and enables them to move away from traditional expectations that surround Homecoming asks.

Junior Mackenzie Hughes states, “Overall, I think Dougherty is a fairly accepting and inclusive place, and I feel like dances are no exception to that.”

The origins of the debate on inclusivity at dances began with the case of Aaron Fricke in 1980 asserts the importance of protecting student’s individual rights.

“John Ward and co-counsel argued that, in not allowing him to bring a male date to his Prom, Cumberland High School violated Aaron Fricke’s First Amendment rights of association and free speech, and his Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection of the laws,” the GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders states.

If this standard held true for all students across the nation, we would have no issue. But the problem arises when an administration neglects the constitutional rights of its students and instead continues to force  its personal beliefs onto the student body.

We should take a moment to appreciate the inclusive environment at Dougherty Valley that we may often take for granted. Although Dougherty is not perfect, we should be conscious of our privilege in comparison to schools located in more conservative states.