Vivian Geilim opinion editor
We are modernized. We are progressive. We are the 21 century. We are the LGBTQ+ community just as we are the feminist community. Just as we are the Black lives matter community, the Muslim community and the Hispanic community. And as a community and as a school, we are ONE.
For the first time in the school’s modern history, Principal Mark Mead has implemented a theme for the Norman Nation: “ONE.” The idea of being “ONE” is meant to unify the school and the students. Beverly, as diverse as it is, should be a sanctuary for students to express themselves freely. There should be no wallflowers, no hiding in the closet and no shying away from being your true self. By installing an overall theme of unity we, as a whole, are moving toward expurgating the idea that students don’t have a voice.
For so long, there has been a static stereotype of king and queen royalty in regard to Homecoming. As a public school, we must encourage these new modifications to be inclusive of all students. By reforming our homecoming royalty with gender neutral nominations, we are walking away from the so-called ‘traditional’ and cliche high school homecoming and taking a step in a more progressive direction, allowing students to feel comfortable in their everyday environment. The days of high school stereotypes are long past us.
In the age of adolescence, we are constantly undergoing change. And sometimes, change can be scary. As teenagers, we don’t really know what we want. We don’t really know who we are. School is supposed to be a place, a safe haven, in which you can freely experiment with your individualism. It is supposed to be a place that embraces student individuality, not shun it. And a gender neutral homecoming is the first step in the right direction. It is only when we begin to accept each other for who we are, for our differences and similarities, that we can truly move forward in unison and as ONE.