Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ryan Seacrest talks to his pal Principal Tom McFerrin regarding Dunwoody Homecoming

Hearts all over the country were warmed by the story of Dunwoody High School in Dunwoody, Georgia, crowning two special needs students as its Homecoming king and queen.  Gus Ashbury, who is autistic, and Hannah Keen, who has Down Syndrome, were both bestowed with the special honor on Friday night at Ryan’s alma mater, and the incredible story has been grabbing headlines from coast to coast because of its powerful message.

Dunwoody High School’s principal Tom McFerrin, who actually went to high school with Ryan at Dunwoody, called in to On Air with Ryan Seacrest on Friday morning to give us some more details about the touching story and how it all came about.

“The week before when the Seniors were able to pick the student they wanted on the Homecoming court … on the ballot were two of our special needs students,” explains McFerrin. “Then the school voted and just that moment out on the field, if you saw the clip and I know you did … it was an unbelievable moment. For me, I’ll never forget that moment, but also to see the student body and their reaction on the field and just to see the reaction of Gus and Hannah is something you’ll never forget.”

Principal McFerrin stresses that the culture at Dunwoody High School is based on acceptance and anti-bullying … and crowning Gus and Hannah as King and Queen is the manifestation of those principles.

“What’s great about it is the whole acceptance,” he continues. “Those kids have gone to school with our special needs kids since kindergarten, a lot of them. If you could just see the interaction with those kids with our special needs students from middle school and elementary school all the way up to high school. So they’ve known these kids forever and there’s this sense of acceptance. They have a little coffee shop, which is where this story started because they run a coffee shop every Tuesday. The special needs students run a coffee shop for our regular ed students to come down and purchase a cinnamon roll or get a cup of coffee so they’re able to interact with them, and it’s great to see.”

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