David Mason crossed his fingers and squeezed his eyes shut as he listened to the announcement that confirmed his dream: This Culver City High School senior, an autistic youth enrolled in the campus’ special education program, was named homecoming king after a landslide vote.
Fireworks exploded as last year’s king plopped a fake gold crown on David’s head. And the crowd in the bleachers cheered wildly.
For the 2,096 students and teachers of Culver City High, Mason’s reign as homecoming king tells of a remarkable bonding that has taken place at their school between a small group of special education students and the rest of the student body.
“Even though this school may seem like it’s, you know, all about football and all that, we have more respect than you think,” said 10th-grader Paul Corker. “The homecoming king contest here is not a popularity contest. We don’t just give it to football stars. We give it to people who deserve it.”