Local school board almost changes homecoming court because of race

OSCEOLA, AR (KAIT) - Every year high schools students look forward to homecoming - the chance to show their school spirit, go to the big game and vote for the homecoming court.

Osceola High School seniors will remember their last homecoming week for the fun and the controversy surrounding the homecoming court.

The OHS students selected 10 girls for the court.  Monday night at a school board meeting a student and her parents complained to the school board about the lack of non-African American representation on the homecoming court.

The school board voted 4-3 Monday night to mandate the OHS student body to re-vote for the court.  The board votes were split along racial lines.  Four white students were added as a result of the second student body vote.

First term school board member Denise Douglas Williams voted against the change. "I was one of those people to say no because I felt that it was too late in the game to change things with homecoming being Friday."

Principal Zrano Bowles announced the new additions to the homecoming court on the school intercom Tuesday.  The school allowed the new court members to leave school early to buy dresses.

After consulting with attorneys, Osceola school district superintendent Michael Cox called a special board meeting for the board to vote to rescind the decision.  Principal Bowles had to tell the girls they were no longer on the court.

OHS senior class officers Sidney Proctor and Dustin Rigsby said the actions of the school board brought the students closer together. "Our student body, we've made it a positive thing." Rigsby said.  "Our student body is like a family."

Calls to school board president Terry Cole about the school board's decision were not returned.

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