Rallies to be cancelled if student behavior does not improve

After students chanted profanity at the homecoming rally Nov. 2, Principal Kevin Buchanan broadcast a warning to the school.

Principal Kevin Buchanan issued a statement, warning students to improve rally behavior or face the potential cancellation of future rallies Friday, Nov. 2.

According to Buchanan, the behavior at the homecoming rally — in which numerous grade levels were chanting profanity — was inappropriate.

“I had never seen this behavior before, not that I recall. And if there was, it was never to the degree where at least three grade levels were chanting,” Buchanan said. “The only grade level that wasn’t chanting, from what I remember, was the freshmen.”

The chanting surprised visitors at the rally, and had a negative effect on Oak Park’s reputation.

“This behavior is not aligned with the Eagle Code or our core values as a school community. It will not be tolerated. The visitors we had at this last rally were frankly shocked by what they witnessed,” Buchanan said in an announcement to the school.

This behavior is not aligned with the Eagle Code or our core values as a school community. It will not be tolerated.”

— Kevin Buchanan

The contentious behavior at the rally was a response to the tallying of points during one of the games, which was alleged to unfairly favor the seniors. ASB has addressed this issue of possible bias.

“I think we need to move away from this idea that the seniors will automatically win the competition because they’re seniors,” Buchanan said. “[If the seniors always win,] why would anybody want to participate in the games and competitions?”

To prevent any further errors, faculty members and ASB are taking steps to promote fairer, more accurate scoring.

“In future rallies, ASB is going to ask some teachers to keep score and work to improve this fairness of the games,” Buchanan said.

Some students agree that threatening to shut down rallies is the only way to control students and receive decent behavior.

“I think that it is a good way to handle the situation. We are so lucky to have opportunities like this and we should not take advantage of them,” freshman Alexandra Fine said. “If we cannot enjoy these activities responsibly, then we should not have them at all.”

Others disagreed, and said they believe the only way to promote unity is to allow the students to interact as they normally would.

“I believe it is unproductive for the Oak Park[‘s] … school spirit to cancel the rallies, because people get excited and full of spirit for the rallies,” freshman Caitlyn Ackerknecht said.