Students angry after girl's name removed from homecoming ballot

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Some students at Roseburg High School say they are upset after a girl's name was taken out of the running for homecoming court.

Out of the entire senior class of Roseburg High School, Bailey Whiting was one of the top 15 girls eligible to be this year's homecoming queen. "We wanted her to be a part of her senior year because we felt it wasn't fair that she's not here," said Breanna Larson, an RHS senior.

Bailey passed away in June while she was jogging with family members.

To honor her memory, Bailey's friends asked the Roseburg School District to add her name to the preliminary online voting list.

Bailey was in the running to be queen for nearly a week until her name was pulled off the ballot.

Senior Mikiah Jones says it didn't surprise her that Baily was at the top of the list. "This has been a big topic in leadership, and so, word gets around school really easily so, it's not like they were caught off guard by it," she said.

In a phone interview, Assistant Principal Larry Rich said he wasn't notified that Bailey's name was on the ballot until 25 minutes before paper ballots were to be passed out to the student body.

Rich said he fearing it might have been a joke.

Rich says he made the decision to take Bailey's name out of the running out of respect for her.

"It's really stressful and I feel it's ridiculous," said Jones. "It was blown way out of proportion. We were just trying to do something nice."

Bailey's mother Tina told KPIC News that she's overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the students, and feels the high school administration does owe students an apology.