The political travails of the homecoming monarchy

crown.jpgEXCEL High School’s would-be dukes and duchesses, princesses and kings displayed a remarkable level of courage and poise this afternoon during a homecoming assembly.

In my day, candidates for the homecoming court would simply be nominated and photographed. There was some low budget campaigning, but a nominee’s reputation and popularity would usually speak for itself in the voting booth.

By contrast, EXCEL’s aspiring royalty had to address an auditorium filled with their peers about their school involvement, leadership qualities and ideas for improving the school (The vague, appealing quality of some of the pitches — such as “changing the rules” — calls to mind the rhetoric of the presidential candidates).

Somehow, they made it through their speeches despite running commentary and, occasionally, outright booing from the peanut gallery — most likely, from the friends of the competition.

Running for a real political office, years down the road, might seem like a breeze in comparison.

Image from Skibriye’s Web site at flickr.com

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Lillian Lopez

    Why are charter school students viewed as second class students? For many parents and students, there is no safe and viable option in our neighborhoods other than charter schools. The nay sayers at the school board meeting were not parents. They were OEA members whose agenda is the status quo and job security, not what’s best for students. Parents are busy raising children and making sure that homework, etc. is taken care of. Parents don’t have the luxury that these old OEA members have to spend hours at school board meetings on a school night. I have yet to meet an OEA member younger than 50 years old speak on behalf of OEA at a school board meeting. Shame on OEA! Charter schools exist because OEA is more worried about the old cronies’ job security than meeting the needs of young teachers and students. OEA is a radical left wing group that doesn’t care about children.