Student behavior leads to change in winter dance

Nina Schmidt, Editor-in-Chief

Cancelled last year because of poor student behavior, alternatives are being considered to replace Winter Formal.

According to Principal Liz Seabury, one of the main problems with the dance was illegal behavior.

“From what I heard and observed, drug use was pretty heavy,” she said, “Students were clearly messed up.”

Other behaviors that took place also made students feel unsafe.

“Girls were being grabbed and kissed without permission and grabbed and touched inappropriately,” said Seabury, “If we can’t have a dance where my girls and potentially boys, though I haven’t had any talk to me, feel safe, then we can’t have a dance.”

A decision to cancel the dance was made collectively by last year’s ASB class and the administration.

“They [ASB] said the dance had gone through it’s cycle and had gotten to a place where it’s not a fun event anymore,” Seabury said, “Myself and Mrs. Peterson and Mr. Pratt and Mr. Stuart also looked at it and said this dance is not safe and we can’t change this culture unless we end this and start something new.”

According to senior and ASB member Isabelle Zuroske,“big plans” are in the works for this year’s new dance which is set to take place on February third in the gym.

“Students have proposed a dance where formal attire is required and having a date is suggested.” she said.

Another proposed idea is “some kind of show” according to the senior, that would prevent the attendees from becoming “too carried away.”

While a winter dance is set to occur, students are not in the clear in terms of dance behavior.

“Administration and parents believe that homecoming this year was a little out of hand,” she said, “It wasn’t as bad as it has been in the past but but Mrs. Seabury and other administrators still worry that those behaviors will carry over to a winter dance.”

Another aspect that could be contributing to disorderly behavior is increased attendance.

“We have 1,200 kids in the school and we had 900 go to homecoming,” Seabury said, “That’s awesome, but we have to make it safer.”

Some of the rowdiness at Homecoming and Winter Formal could also be due to the varied ages of the attendees.

“Quite honestly it tends to be the sophomore boys in the middle,” Seabury said, “People were also really frustrated with some of the underclassmen and how immature they were at winter formal last year.”

Another contributing factor could be the timing of the dances.

“At prom if you mess up we’ll pull you from grad,” she said, “since it’s so close I think kids get that.”

According to Zuroske, this new alternative to Winter Formal is a chance for students to prove themselves.

“If the Winter Formal alternative goes badly, then administration is prepared to cancel any winter dance for the next year,” she said.