Homecoming King Nominees at Tennessee High School Cede the Crown to Classmate with Special NeedsMeredith Carroll
Scotty Maloney was crowned the homecoming king at Tennessee’s Unionville Community High School’s basketball homecoming ceremony last Friday night, although as it turns out, he wasn’t even nominated for the title.
According to ABC News, students Jesse Cooper, Drew Gibbs and Zeke Grissom at the school in Nashville, Tenn., were the actual nominees, but the three of them decided unanimously that no matter who won, Maloney would get the crown.
Maloney has a genetic condition called Williams Syndrome, which is a neurological disorder inhibiting learning and speech. Fortunately the condition hasn’t stopped him from endearing himself to his classmates, among whom he is enormously popular and characterized as “fabulous” and a “superstar.”
Cooper ended up winning the popular vote, but he told WKRN-TV, “I’ve been blessed with some many thing. I just wanted Scotty to experience something great in his high school days.”
“He’s always happy, so he deserves some recognition for who he is,” Gibbs added.
According to Maloney’s teacher Liz Gassaway, when they called Scotty’s name as the winner and he received a standing ovation as he received his “King Medal,” “his eyes got really big . . . it was very, very emotional.”
Gassaway thinks their school is “one of the best schools in the world when it comes to dealing with special needs children.”
Cooper is among the students who assists in the special needs gym class as well as other activities — and his efforts, Gassaway says, help people to have more empathy towards people, not to be scared of people with disabilities.”
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