Teenager with Down syndrome crowned homecoming king

Posted at 12:27 PM, Nov 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-21 12:27:52-05

ST. MARY'S, MARYLAND (WJLA/CNN) - The newly crowned homecoming king at a Maryland high school is an athlete, ROTC candidate and is on the honor roll.

He also has Down syndrome.

In the hallways of Great Mills High School, he attends class with almost 1,700 students.

A video shot by his Dad shows the pure joy classmates had when he was named homecoming king.

There was a campaign to be king, and a democratic process that gave Bailey Mewhinney the most votes.

"I feel good because my friends cheer for me," said Mewhinney.

"The place exploded," said his father, Scott Mewhinney. "It was deafening in there."

Amber Young is homecoming queen. She said Mewhinney went up against other popular students.

"Seeing somebody that like cares about our school and tries to like advocate for our school, do a lot of stuff for our school," said Young.

Mewhinney is a four-sport athlete.

"See the ability," said Scott. "See the person."

While Mewhinney might have Down syndrome, his peers don't see him as disabled.

"When his name was called he looked to me and he hugged me real tight and was like 'We did it!'" said Danielle Wenk, a Great Mills High School student. "And then they made a little air for him and I just instantly started bawling."

Scott Mewhinney and his wife were moved by the student body's choice.

Bailey is on the honor roll and will graduate in June.

"From day one here at Great Mills High School, Bailey Mewhinney has been in the classroom with everyone else," said Cheryl Connor, a reporter for WJLA. "His work is modified, but he has the same expectations."

"there's no limitation for me," Bailey said.

He plans on going to college next.

Copyright 2017 WJLA via CNN. All rights reserved.