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Spirit Week Taken to Extremes


Spirit Week has always been a student and staff favorite. Every year at the end of October, you can see Principal Cahall greeting people in his pajamas, students taking selfies with their identically-dressed twins, and teachers sporting painted faces (and bodies) at the pep rally. But this year the week leading up to Homecoming did not go exactly as planned. Tensions ran high, with incidents including excessive inter-grade animosity at the pep rally and the cancellation of the homecoming court (see front page article).

The court’s cancellation is unfortunate for students who spent time, money, and energy campaigning. It is especially sad for seniors who missed this last opportunity. Students, including members of the Beacon editorial staff, are confused as to why Cahall felt such extreme measures were necessary.

We understand that this Homecoming week provided frustrations. Students yelling profanities at each other during the pep rally was unnecessary and inappropriate. And a student probably should not have run for Homecoming court as a joke, when others take it seriously. At the same time, however, such excess is part of what makes Spirit Week spirited. For all the years we’ve attended Wilson, the pep rally has emphasized class pride. Different grades yell at each other, not in malice but in good fun. We cannot speak for the entire student body, but we do not feel that any Wilson students have ever felt personally offended by pep rally chants.

Whether a male student ran for Homecoming queen for fun or to make a point about gender remains unclear. Maybe the school should not have let him run in the first place, or should have asked him to step down if administrators were worried about offending people or sending the wrong message. But it was not necessary to cancel Homecoming court altogether. It was not fair to ruin the fun for all those running and for all those excited to see the traditional announcement of the court at the homecoming game. Wilson should not be a school at which Homecoming court is canceled because a boy ran for queen. We are smarter than that.

Spirit Week is supposed to be fun, but this year everyone went too far. Students went too far at the pep rally. The administration went too far in threatening to kick the seniors out. A student may have gone too far with a joke. And Cahall went too far in cancelling Homecoming court. We hope that next year people will remember what Homecoming is really about: school and class spirit, and celebrating a new school year in a way that is fair, inclusive and fun for everyone.

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