Teen With Down Syndrome Crowned Homecoming Queen
This past weekend's coronation followed a classmate's invitation to the dance that was caught on video and went viral.
On September 25, 15-year-old Esperanza High School student Sean Boots mustered the courage to ask his friend and classmate 18-year-old April Clarke to the school's homecoming dance, reports the OC Register. Carrying a bouquet of flowers and a box of candy, Boots approached Clarke in front of a crowd of classmates, while his sister and a friend unfurled a banner that read, "April, it would be sweeet if you went to HC (homecoming) with me." Spoiler alert: she said yes. The entire scene—including the eruption of applause from classmates—was shared on social media and quickly went viral. The video has been retweeted more than 44,000 times and shared over 9 million times on Facebook, according to KTLA.
"Sean is the cutest guy. He asked me to go to homecoming, and he gave me tears of joy," Clarke told ABC 7.
Both Boots and Clarke have down syndrome, their families told KTLA. They attend several classes together and are involved with a variety of sports at the school.
Then, this past Friday, Clarke received another surprise when she was voted by the Esperanza student body to be one of five princesses at the school's Senior Homecoming football game against El Dorado High School. During a halftime ceremony at the game—involving massive cardboard coffins for Halloween—Clarke found out that she had been voted homecoming queen.
And finally on Saturday night, Clarke and Boots rode to the homecoming dance in a limo donated by a stranger who was touched by their story, reports ABC7.
"It just really validates that Sean and April, and children, adults with special needs are important. That they are valued," Sean's mother, Michelle Boots, told ABC7.