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Homecoming Unveiled

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Homecoming Unveiled

Elissa Asch

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 The space-themed Homecoming Dance held on October 3 in the student center was a blend of administration, teacher chaperones, and security guards trying to provide a safe environment for those in attendance, alongside students with varying levels of cooperation.

Many security measures were taken to ensure that the dance was a safe environment. An email sent out on September 25 by the administration detailed the semi-formal dress code, time constraints of admission into the dance, and the no in-and-out policy.                                          

One dance administrator, Principal Dr. Julie Synyard, was surprised by the high attendance. “Last year we had around 430 students who came and this year we had 710 students come, so [there was] a significant jump in student attendance at the dances. I’m thrilled that 700 kids came, that to me is just showing a connectedness to school,” Synyard said.

Fortunately there were few issues involving admitting kids into the dance, Synyard said, only students coming with guests from other schools and students wanting to leave and re-enter the dance, both of which were not permitted.

The safety of the dance floor was one concern, so the floor was closely watched by administration, teachers, and security guards alike. “Since the DJ was kind of up, what I saw were kids starting to go on shoulders…so I got in the middle there real fast and told kids to get down…the second you told them to stop they would stop,” Synyard said.

Students also helped to maintain order during the dance. “The leadership kids were awesome because they saw what I was trying to do and so they would walk over and our school president would walk over and be like get down, get down. They were great,” Assistant Principal Wendy Stratton added.

Students’ opinions on the dance floor differed; freshman Celeste Moore said, “It was pretty safe, [though] it was definitely pushy, a lot of people were kinda rough but you just had to get used to it. You could choose to be in there or be out of the mosh pit.”

However, another freshman, Lilly Murphy, had a different opinion of the dance floor. “I thought it was way too crowded and uncomfortable. The student center was a bad place for homecoming to be and hopefully next year they will change where it will be held,” Murphy said. “People were slamming into each other and I got knocked down and more people fell on top of me. When people got up, they stepped on me.”

Illegal substances were another a major concern of adults at the dance. Although Stratton said she didn’t see any illegal substances and the few kids checked by the Mill Valley police weren’t proved to be under the influence, members of the student body admitted that there was illegal activity at or before the dance. “There were at least 10 non-sober people that I knew of. Some drunk, some high, some both. But most partiers saw the cops and turned around,” said a sophomore girl who requested anonymity. A sophomore boy and freshman girl, both wishing to remain anonymous, also confessed to being under the influence with their friends.

Synyard hopes to implement a Be the Influence program in the next few weeks to address the problem raised of students attending parties and participating in illegal activities after the dance. “Be the Influence, which is really a program which we are kind of stealing from Redwood, talks about [how] parents can sign up and kind of develop this network where they can call when their kids are going to someone’s house. Parents on the list… can call and they can see if there’s illegal activity going on at that house,” Synyard said. “Like, ‘I will agree to have a safe and sober home, kids will not drink at my home’.”

Ultimately the dance was an enjoyable experience for students in attendance, and upon leaving the dance, students had many positive comments for the administration. “Overwhelmingly kids said this was a great change of placement, we loved the venue, we had a blast.” Synyard said, “I didn’t receive any negative feedback. I was pretty pumped because it was pretty exciting to see the kids pumped about trying something different.”

However, the administration welcomes both positive and negative feedback on the dance and its new venue so they can improve it next year. “Getting feedback is helpful, we want to make it better, and we want to ensure that all kids are obviously safe while they are under our care,” Stratton said.

“This was one of the best dances that we’ve ever had and with that many kids it was awesome,” Synyard said. “Well done, Tam student body.”

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