JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Valley View High School Homecoming had a very special moment Tuesday night as an 8th grader with special needs got the opportunity to escort a homecoming maid.
"They don't have the opportunity to try out on the basketball team and they don't have the opportunity so I was thinking," said Hadley Rose Grisham, an 8th-grade homecoming maid. "Let's give the opportunity to be able to escort someone on the homecoming court."
Grisham also participates in Project Smile with the school, so she works closely with the Self-Contained class.
"These young ladies from EAST Lab go over and beyond to make our students feel loved," said Tina Golden, Valley View Junior High Self-Contained class instructor. "They will eat with them, take them to the movies and everything."
Grisham reached out to Golden about having Cody Tribble, an 8th grader with Noonan Syndrome, escort her.
"He was so excited and the whole department was so excited for him," said Golden.
Cody's mom was just as ecstatic.
"His teacher contacted me and say 'Hey, one of the kids from Project Smile wants him to escort her on the homecoming court,' and I think everyone had tears," said Tasha Patterson, Cody's mom. "We were like 'When do we need to be there? What all do we need to do?' We got his tux figured out and everything so it was very exciting for him."
Cody was so excited, he thought he was getting married.
"He practiced proposing to her in the store and the guys laughed and we all had a great time," said Patterson.
Golden said having this kind gesture was very special.
"Our students are so excited about extra events about being in front of people and being in the spotlight and just being a normal kid," said Golden. "The students here at Valley View are so kind and it means a lot that they go out of their way to make sure these students are included."
Grisham said she wants people to understand that people with special needs exist for a special reason.
"People don't look at these kids and think they are a part of this community and they single them out but really they are just as important to the community as we are," said Grisham.