“Selfless,” “emotional” and “a moment no one will ever forget.”
That’s how parents in one Mississippi school community described the moment Forrest County Agricultural High School senior Nyla Covington gave up her tiara seconds after being crowned the 2021 homecoming queen.
Her act of kindness was on full display Saturday when she removed her crown and placed it on the head of her friend and classmate Brittany Walters, according to photos and videos posted online. Brittany’s mother, an esteemed employee at the Brooklyn, Miss., high school, had died from cancer just hours earlier, multiple outlets report.
McClatchy News reached out to the Forrest County School District for comment Monday and is awaiting a response.
The sweet moment was captured by dozens of parents and fans watching, teary-eyed, from the football stands.
“Senior maid, Nyla Covington, was crowned Homecoming Queen,” FCAHS parent Erica Sherrill Owens wrote on Facebook alongside photos and video from the ceremony. “I watched as she asked Principal (Will) Wheat and (District Superintendent) Dr. (Donna) Boone if she could pass her crown to Brittany, and I don’t even remember recording the moment through the tears, but here y’all go. So much class and a moment no one will ever forget.”
The video had more than 4,100 views as of Monday and dozens of comments from users who were just as moved by Nyla’s gesture.
“I literally get chill bumps EVERY time I read about and see the photos of this beautiful moment of pure, unadulterated love!!!” one person commented.
“I was a puddle last night and here again this morning,” another wrote. “Best thing ever!”
Owens said Brittany’s mother, A.J. Nichols Walters, was a dear of friend of hers and that they had watched their daughters grow up together.
“Brittany’s mom was very special to me, as is this senior class,” Owens told McClatchy News. “One of my daughters is a senior and I’ve watched all these girls grow up. It was such an emotional moment.”
Parent Kari Keene Ryles agreed, calling it the “most heartfelt thing I have seen in a long time.”
Brooklyn is about 20 miles south of Hattiesburg.