Parent Fights For Daughter’s Chance To Be On Homecoming Court


A central Ohio mom says she is prepared to fight to give her daughter a chance to be part of her high school's homecoming court.

She says her daughter is bright and popular but one thing stops her from even being considered.

At Lucas High School in Richland County, if you want to be a part of the Homecoming Court, you first must make an approved list.

Each member of each class will appear on the ballot, provided he/she meets the following requirements:

1. Earned a minimum GPA of 2.50 (effective with the class of 2011).
2. Must not have any High School out-of-school suspensions on their record (effective class of 2011).
3. Must be involved in extracurricular activities in the community or school.

One mother says the GPA requirement is unfair to students with learning disabilities.

Michelle Smollen says her daughter is like most teenage girls except she struggles more than most of them in school.

"She struggles on every single test. It's hard for her to even meet the sports guideline which is a 1.7,” said Michelle Smollen

Smollen says her daughter has learning disabilities and as part of her Individual Education Plan, or I.E.P., she takes a special math class at school and goes to a separate room for tests.  

She says it's wrong for a school district to shut a student out from social activities.

"It makes them feel unworthy, that they are not good enough, that you know that they are not as good as a smart person,” said Smollen.

Lucas High School Principal and Athletic Director Eric Teague lots of students with an I.E.P are making the grade and getting involved.

"So I don't know that having a GPA requirement would automatically exclude students from being a part of that, whether they are on an IEP or a mainstream student," said Teague.

Teague says this was not a district change but rather students from the 2011 graduating class who added the GPA requirement.

Teague says the district would never isolate certain students.

"I would hate for them to feel that way. There are so many ways to be involved here at the school. I would hate for them to think homecoming court is the end all be all,” said Teague.

But Smollen says homecoming court is what her daughter wants.

"I think that every student in the school should be on the list for their peers to vote for,” said Smollen.

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