Students Name Autistic Classmate Homecoming King. But They Really Go Wild When He Busts Out Unexpected Dance Moves.

Something amazing happened at South Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. During its annual Homecoming ceremony, an unlikely king was crowned, a student by the name of Blake Rice. Blake Rice is a kind kid who is loved by students and staff alike, but he also has autism, a developmental difference which sets him apart from a majority of his peers.

But differences aside, the incredible student body of South Meck High wanted to show Blake that he was loved by all–and they did this by voting him in as Homecoming King. Yep, that’s a big deal!

Recently, Blake’s dad posted a video of his son receiving the illustrious title, and with it, he included a letter that he wrote to the entire student body of South Meck High. It reads:

A year ago, as we were preparing for Blake’s brain surgery, I never could have imagined this moment. A few weeks ago, a few of you set in motion events that have become in my mind what I can only think of as a referendum on kindness. As you know, a referendum is a popular vote on a single question. Often, honors like Homecoming Queen or King can become an exercise in the “Haves” and the “Have Nots,” a way to divide the in crowd from the not so in crowd.

All who nominated, organized and voted chose to turn what could be an opportunity for exclusion into a celebration of inclusion. It sets you apart. It shows the world just a glimpse of the amazing culture of South Meck. By choosing to honor Blake, you honor the best all of you have to offer this world. You chose not the hottest guy, or the richest guy, or the smartest guy. You chose the most unlikely guy, and supported him unconditionally, all of his complications and disabilities in full display and your ROARED your support.

As a dad, and a Sabre*, I couldn’t be more proud of all of you. Not because Blake is my son, but because by choosing a kid like Blake you showed the world that you value above all else, inclusion. You showed the world that as Sabres, we celebrate our diversity as our strength. You championed the most vulnerable kid, because to you, it was the right thing to do. A student in the stands asked me if I was proud of Blake. I told them I was proud of Blake, but I was even more proud of each and every Sabre student. His place of honor is a reflection not of my values, but yours. You should be very proud of what you showed the world.

I wanted to reach out and thank you for allowing Blake to have a very special night last Friday, and I wanted to thank you all for making me proud to teach at South Meck every single day.

It doesn’t get much sweeter than that, folks! We’re so happy to see that, despite his difference, Blake Rice got to have this experience. Be sure to watch the video of him accepting the crown below. Spoiler alert: this is one HAPPY homecoming king!

We’d love to hear your take on this beautiful gesture. Are you surprised that the student body voted for Blake? Have you ever heard of a similar story before? Are you a parent of an autistic child?