The Homecoming pep rally has officially been moved from a lunchtime rally to a second period rally on Oct. 28, according to principal Laurel Fretz.
The decision was made Tuesday morning after consulting with various students and administrators, including ASB and members of The Samohi.
According to administrators, the rally was scheduled for second period to curb the chaotic behavior that has ensued after past pep rallies.
“The problems are almost always after the rallies, so by having it during second period, I hope students will calmly walk back to class instead of going to lunch and causing problems,” Fretz said.
As a result of the fights after the Homecoming rally in 2009, former Samo principal Dr. Hugo Pedroza canceled all subsequent pep rallies for that academic school year. Pep rallies last year were rescheduled for lunch due to additional post-rally misbehavior. According to administrators, misconduct issues in the past have included students throwing full water bottles at peers and administrators, running up and down hallways, chanting years and starting fights.
“I’ve heard that there were many problems: everything from large fights (or what some people call small riots) to individual acts of violence. Last year when people felt the pep rally went well, there was a time right after when [this year’s] juniors and seniors faced off in the Science Quad,” Fretz said.
When Fretz became Samo principal in July, she noticed the pep rallies had been changed to lunch rallies, and tried to change the rally to a fourth period rally. However, she was advised by administrators not to do so.
Contrary to rumors that have been circulating among students, Fretz did not cancel pep rallies.
“I am learning that I’m going to have to communicate more clearly. I’m also sending home a letter to explain the miscommunication,” Fretz said.
According to Fretz, it wasn’t until she had meetings with different groups of students — including the senior class, members of The Samohi and ASB, as well as the other administrators — that she felt confident enough to give the students another chance.
“I came back and talked to all the house principals, and I told them that I believe the students will behave well and that their desire to have a regular pep rally should be honored,” Fretz said. “I believe that at some point, we have to give students a clean slate. We need to use the past and be wise when we make the decision, but at the same time we need to look forward and expect the best from our students,” Fretz said.
According to senior Maykel Pernia, students see the situation similarly.
“The behavior issues were a long time ago, and I don’t think we should have to pay for [past classes’] actions,” Pernia said.
But Fretz does not expect any behavior problems during the upcoming rally.
“I do not believe that given this opportunity, the students are going to blow it. I expect at this rally, students will be respectful, and will know that [the administration] is going out on a limb for them by allowing them to have a pep rally, they will behave and go out of their way to make sure that the rallies become permanent,” Fretz said.
Fretz hopes that students will both respect the rules and enjoy themselves at the pep rally.
“My goal for this year is that we will have pep rallies for all of our seasons and that we will start a new Samo tradition of fun and excellence,” Fretz said.