When a group of high school mean girls in Grand Prairie, Texas, told Lillian Skinner, a 17-year-old senior with developmental delays, that she was nominated for homecoming court, she had no idea what the ultimate result would be. Lily hadn’t been nominated, but her longtime friends, Anahi Alvarez and Naomi Martinez, had been.
After learning of the prank, Anahi and Naomi, who have been friends with Lily since 7th-grade choir, hatched a plan to pass their crown to Lily should either of them be named homecoming queen.
"We promised each other and we were like, ‘No matter what, no backing down. If one of us wins, we’re giving Lillian the crown,’" Naomi said.
On Friday night, in front of thousands of friends, family members and fans, that is exactly what happened.
Principal Lorimer Arendse was let in on the plan shortly before halftime and the planned announcement of the homecoming winners.
"In all my time in school, this is probably the greatest moment I’ve ever experienced as a principal," said Arendse.
It was Arendse’s job to escort Lily onto the field, under the guise that she was to help take pictures of the homecoming court’s procession. So Lily had front row seats for when her friend Anahi was named 2014 homecoming queen.
"When she won the queen, I took a picture and she told me to come over. And I said, ‘It’s OK. It’s OK. It’s your crown, you know? My name is not on the list,’" Lily said.
Slowly it dawned on Lily what was really happening, according to the others in attendance.
"That’s when it was just, the moment itself took over," Arendse said.
"Seeing the look on her face and the way she reacted toward it, it was priceless," said Naomi. "I knew it was the right decision."
As for the girl who got the most votes Friday, she said she would gladly do it all again.
"Well, for me, I want to say, and I always say, ‘Lilly won. I just ran in her place, in her position,’" Anahi said. "When they ask me, ‘Were you homecoming queen?’ I say, ‘No, Lilly is homecoming queen.’"
(Photo/Story via NBC5)