Miscommunications cause students to walk out; Administration, staff clarify events of homecoming


Samantha Drougel

Sophomore Jordan Bassler talks with friends at the homecoming dance last Saturday. The security system installed last summer left the dance lit brighter than usual.

Brady Cicero and Maya Kasprzak

Each year, students look forward to homecoming week, especially the dance. This year, however, a series of events led to upset and confusion for some. Several students walked out in mass, causing rumors and gathering outside of school grounds. 

    An hour or so into the dance, a large group of students walked out at the same time in response to chaperone enforcement of the dance policy, which was implemented to combat “dirty dancing.” Assistant Principal Leah Morelli said that she believed there was a plan to walkout. 

“After they did their dirty dancing and before they could get kicked out, they were planning on exiting at that point,” Morelli said. “That type of music was never played. Several of them were walking out without even knowing why.” 

    Morelli added that the emotions were high going into the dance, which also added to the tension. A statement about the enforcement of the handbook and warning about dirty dancing was posted in the school and in the commons where the tickets to the dance were sold during school.

    In addition to those that walked out in protest, more students left the dance after rumors of a threat spread on social media. 

    “What we do know is that it (rumor of the threat) had no credibility,” Morelli said. “The officers that were here investigated it. They worked with dispatch to investigate it. It was false, and we believe started because parents assumed that when that many students were leaving at once that something was wrong.”  

The dance policy was not the only thing about which the students were upset. Many students complained about the lights being on for the dance. 

Morelli clarified that the safety lights were on because the school got a new security upgrade over the summer and administration did not know they could not turn the lights off until right before the dance.  

“Those lights that are down at that end of the gym that are close to the entrances were part of what were put in place and are 24/7, meaning they never get shut off and are attached to the cameras and security systems,” Morelli said. 

    Another complaint was the music choice, which most students said was not current. 

    According to Senior Class Advisor Jeremy Kimberlin, the DJ allowed students to select songs a week prior to the dance with the stipulation that a clean version must be available. 

    “He provided a list of 300 songs that the Senior Class officers selected from and added to,” Kimberlin said. “About half of the songs requested by the officers did not have a clean, school appropriate version. It appears that the songs were played in a row, with the common wedding songs played first, including “Cha Cha Slide” and “YMCA” and that current songs were played later.” 

    After all of the confusion, students have mixed reactions about the events. 

    Junior Charlize Myerchalk, a member of Student Council, said that she blames mixed messages. 

“I know there’s a lot of miscommunications on both the student and teachers part, which caused unnecessary events to happen that could have been avoided,” Myerchalk said. “A lot of things were out of our hands as students and teachers.” 

    Freshman Austin Zorn said the events of the dance were unexpected for those who have never been before. 

“It was my first high school dance, which was exciting, but it was not at all what I would expect,” Zorn said.