After a two-year hiatus forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, Moody High School special education students celebrated the return of the school’s Special Hearts Prom on Wednesday.
The annual event provides an opportunity for students with disabilities to enjoy a special part of the high school experience. More than 70 students attended this year’s Special Hearts Luau.
Assistant Principal Cynthia Reyna said the school wasn’t able to have its usual dance in January, so the staff decided to have a luau.
“Our regular education seniors always volunteer to escort our special-needs students to this,” Reyna said. “They did promposals for them, they’ve come and brought them gifts, and the interaction of kids meeting kids their own age … the importance of this is learning we’re all alike.”
Mercedes Cortez, 19, was named the prom queen. Cortez said she was excited for the return of the prom and enjoyed dancing with her friends.
Special education students, chaperoned by their general education dates, enjoyed snacks served by the school’s culinary program and watched as the prom queen was presented with a flower lei and sash.
Students in tropical shirts and brightly colored leis took turns dancing with their dates before everyone took to the dance floor in the school courtyard, forming a circle around students showing off their moves.
Ebonee Nation, 19, is a general education student who escorted another student to the luau along with one of her friends. Nation and her friend, who are members of Moody’s TJ Strutters drill team, asked their schoolmate to the prom with a sign that said, “Let’s strut together at the luau.”
“They’ve been excited all week, and they’re really ecstatic to be able to have this experience and share it with the other senior class,” Nation said.
Ashlee Burns covers trending and breaking news in South Texas. See our subscription options and special offers at Caller.com/subscribe