Prom night brings out kindness at a Texas high school

Tyrell Clay, football quarterback at Miller High School, Corpus Christi.
CBS News
(CBS News) CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- This is the story of two boys who go to the same high school in Corpus Christi, Texas - but live in opposite worlds.
Tyrell Clay, football quarterback at Miller High School, Corpus Christi. CBS News

Tyrell Clay is the football quarterback at Miller High School. More popular than free pizza - everyone loves Tyrell.

Adam Chadwick, on the other hand, dwells well down the social ladder. Picked on and called names - he's learned to keep to himself.

Two kids with nothing in common - until this spring when the student body nominated them both for prom king.

So why does Adam think he was nominated? "I can speculate but I don't know," he said.

Adam Chadwick was surprised when he was nominated for prom king at Miller High School, Corpus Christi. CBS News

Adam knows he's not the most popular kid in school.

"There's still a hole there in the logic. Obviously some people were just messing with me," he said.

At first, Adam had no intention of attending - but changed his mind. "I figured I might as well just take the chance and hope for the best," he said.

He had made himself vulnerable, but said he "was prepared".

On the night of the prom the court gathered in front of the crowd and the king was announced.

There was no surprise. Tyrell won and he was thrilled, but only for a moment.

The prom night moment that surprised everyone at Miller High School, Tyrell Clay gives his prom king crown to Adam Chadwick. CBS News

"I glanced over to Adam and he was standing up and he was really sad - like he was heartbroken," said Tyrell.

What happened next stunned everyone in the room. Tyrell took off his crown, walked over to Adam, and told him they'd picked the wrong man.

"I put it on his head and I bowed to him," said Tyrell.

"I thought I was imagining it or something," said Adam, who added he had "no trouble" hearing the loud applause.

For Adam, life has been pretty great ever since. He says when the coolest kid in school crowns you king, it can do wonders for your self-esteem.

Adam Chadwick celebrates prom night. CBS News

"I can, like, walk the halls with my head held high," he said.

That's what Adam got out of prom night. As for Tyrell ... the question remains, what was behind his actions that evening?

"I don't want to regret not doing something for somebody I could have when I had the opportunity to," he said.

And at Miller High School, that's how kindness came to rule.

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  • Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.