Students chant profanity at rally

Administration to take disciplinary actions if issues persist

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Students were heard chanting profane comments at each other during the first rally of the school year, prompting cautionary messages from the school administration.

The annual homecoming rally is meant for the students to come together and show school spirit. However, after an issue regarding the tally of points each grade had during a game, the gym was filled with numerous chants of profanity, specifically shouts of b— s—.

“I’m very disappointed [and] a little bit angry,” Oak Park High School Principal Kevin Buchanan said. “We had visitors there who were shocked at the behavior of our kids. I don’t think it reflects well on us as a school.”

According to Buchanan, the use of profanity has crossed a line, and the administration feels the need to take action to prevent this type of behavior in the future.

“The only option I have is to cancel the rally if the behavior isn’t appropriate,” Buchanan said. “I’m going to give [the students] one more chance to get it right, but if it happens at the next rally, then that will be the last rally of the school year.”

ASB is in agreement with the administration that these profane chants contribute to the overall negative atmosphere which is created.

“We do not support [the chants] or approve of it at all,” senior class president Sean Mackinnon said.

Some said they believed that the chant began due to the incorrect point-taking, which was later corrected.

“Regardless of [the point mix-up], that fact doesn’t give any class permission to chant vulgarity like that,” Mackinnon said.

According to senior and ASB cabinet President Meghan Cleary, ASB is doing their best to try and eliminate these chants, but do not have the authority to do it.

“The chants are the worst thing and I wish there was something we could do about it, but it’s really more up to the administration than ASB because we can’t really discipline anyone,” Cleary said. “The cancellation of rallies would be really disappointing for everyone in ASB just because we put so much work and time and effort into them.”

Teachers who attended the rally believe that recently there has been a significant change in the overall dynamic between grade levels.

“If the purpose of the rally is to unify the school — my opinion is that it is doing the exact opposite. The only thing it really [shows] is the fact that everyone is [unified] against the freshmen,” science teacher Troy Labnow said.

Some teachers are saying that the positive atmosphere is lost when students chant profanity, stating that there are other ways to express one’s motions which do not negatively reflect on the school.

“I think [the chanting] is something that needs to be changed. I think this needs to be dealt with because it’s a slippery slope going from the one word they were chanting to other words that are even worse,” history teacher Chris Meyer said.

Some suggest a complete revision of nature of the rallies in the hopes of removing the competition and animosity between classes.

“I know that the sophomores and juniors and seniors were chanting at the freshmen and that I think that we should work to change the culture of the rallies a to make it more about the school as a whole and about what we’re trying to do as Eagles — not as ‘Class of 2018, 2019, 2020 or 2021’,” history teacher Tim Chevalier said.

Many students also felt that the overall dynamic and attitude in the crowd and behavior differed from previous rallies.

“There was a lot more disrespect in the crowd,” junior Sabrina Stone said. “While I agree with frustration from certain things, [the students] still need to [be] respectful to ASB and teachers.”

In addition to the chanting of profanity, there was also a poster which read “Senior Boys Going for Girls 15 and Under.”

“I thought that it probably wasn’t in the best taste: I know it is sort of a joke within our grade, but it’s definitely not in the best taste for our school,” senior Logan Beck said.

However, sophomore Havi Rubenfeld said that this poster is simply a running joke between the two grades and is not to be taken seriously.

“We are all friends and have a lot of jokes with each other, so the sign definitely had the sophomore girls laughing. There are so many people who are friends throughout the different grades so it’s nice to be able to ‘communicate’ through the cheers at the rally,” Rubenfeld said.

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