A special homecoming - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

A special homecoming

By Ryan Peterson - bio | email

DAINGERFIELD, TX (KLTV) -  Daingerfield is a proud community.  Proud of back to back state football titles, expecting a third this December.  What happened before last Friday night's game meant more than any football trophy or championship.

"I've taught 25 years and this was the highlight of my 25 years," said Daingerfield Life Skills Teacher Karen Thomas.

Thomas helps special needs students, Jasper Smith and Samantha Bryant, who each day bring a smile to her face.

Thomas was brought to tears when the Daingerfield senior class recently called her in for a meeting.

"They (the seniors) wanted Jasper and Sam to know how much they meant to the class," said Thomas.  "Jasper and Sam have been in school with them since kindergarten, but they've been unable to be in their regular classes."

Lekendrick Lee was one of three seniors who came up with the idea.  Vote Jasper and Samantha as homecoming king and queen.

"For their senior year they should have something to remember by," said Lee.

The decision blew their teachers away.

"It's just something you don't hear of because it's very selfless for these kids to do what they did," said Student Council Sponsor Kendra Dunn.

The entire senior class jumped on board with the idea.  Not a single complaint.  The class ultimately decided to nix the homecoming court completely, making Jasper and Samantha the unanimous selections.

"There was no wondering in their minds," said Thomas.  "They just sacrificed their chance at homecoming king and queen."

The sacrifice had an even greater reward.

"My heart felt very good," said Lee.

Without a dry eye in the house. The senior class lined up behind their king and queen to show their support.

"We all had tears in our eyes and you can see in the video some of the students wiping the tears away from their face just because of the pure joy that they got to experience that night for these two students," said Dunn.  "It's just something that as a teacher, you do what you do to experience something like this."

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