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Decision made: no skits at the winter pep rally

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Decision made: no skits at the winter pep rally

Seniors look on as the 2018 Mack Plaque pep rally unfolds.

Seniors look on as the 2018 Mack Plaque pep rally unfolds.

Lancer Spirit staff photo

Seniors look on as the 2018 Mack Plaque pep rally unfolds.

Lancer Spirit staff photo

Lancer Spirit staff photo

Seniors look on as the 2018 Mack Plaque pep rally unfolds.

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There will be no skits at the pep rally on Friday.

This decision was made due to the incidents that took place during the first pep rally of the school year, and certain steps had to be taken to ensure the continuation of rallies in the future.

“Pep rallies are positive and easy to have, since most people are doing the right thing,” Parent said. “There is trust and respect. But Ms. Sullivan and I have noticed in a few areas some boundaries have been pushed. It takes away from the spirit of what we were trying to accomplish.”

As Mr. Psaledas informed students and all those present at the Pantene event, the first pep rally at LHS wasn’t until 2004. This was because the principals previous to Mr. Elefante and Mr. Parent didn’t feel comfortable with them. They believed that they would cause trouble, but now there is a more optimistic outlook.

“It would be easier not to have them,” pep rally leader Mr. Juster said, “but we want pep rallies to stay.”

The Monday after the September rally, the issue of whether or not to continue entrance skits performed by athletic teams was the main topic the pep rally aides tackled.

Students enjoy performing and watching these skits, but Parent said the staff don’t always understand what is going on.

“Students get caught up in the moment at the rally,” Parent said. “Most of the skits include inside jokes or references.”

As adviser, Juster made suggestions to his team on what they should do, but left the ultimate decision up to them. The aides had their own conversation and communicated via a group chat to come to a general consensus. Parent said that administration backs their decision and would have come to the same conclusion had they not done it themselves.

In the end, the majority of the pep rally team members agreed to remove the skits from future rallies.

“They wanted to find another way to incorporate the teams into the pep rallies that was much less risky, so no one would get hurt,” Juster said.

Senior Maegan Crowley expressed the feelings of the majority of the group in a statement that Mr. Juster purely copied and pasted, with no editing, and sent to administration and the staff. An official and public statement was then released to captains and teams last week relaying that the players of all teams would rapidly walk out together to the fight song.

In response to the rule change, junior Mike Watts put out a petition through change.org last Friday and blasted it out through social media platforms. Around 300 students signed the petition before it closed.

“I started the petition out of random,” Watts said. “I saw the paper from my friends and teammates and felt that they were justifiably upset. I took up the cause.”

Watts is a member of the wrestling team, and he and his team are unable to perform a skit at this Friday’s pep rally.

“I think the petition was very successful at unifying a student voice,” Watts said. “It was powerful to see the number grow and grow and see students and athletes unite. It was also successful in bringing attention to Mr. Parent and Mr. Juster.”

Parent was surprised by the petition, and did not find it to be necessary. He said that any student wanting to speak about this issue “could have just as easily knocked on his door to get the attention of administration.”

He compared the situation to the walkout that took place in March 2018, which was created to pay respect to those who lost their lives in the recent school shootings. Londonderry students wished to take part in this national walkout, and so they went straight to administration first and worked together.

Parent said through this process he received “insight on the cause that was important to young people.”  Anytime students have an issue, Parent said they are always welcome to talk with him about it. Juster agrees.

“The issues and questions any individual has are important,” Juster said. “This is an open door policy.”

A meeting was eventually set up between Watts, Parent, and Juster. Also in attendance was Ms. Sullivan, whom Watts credits with “making [his] ideas presentable to Mr. Parent.”

After the meeting, Watts said that he realized he was “too excited to gather signatures and should’ve spoken to Parent or Juster [himself].”

Parent characterized the meeting as “productive,” in presenting “different insights and sharing thoughts.”

“Mr. Parent and Mr. Juster were very open to new ideas and helped develop one that I had,” Watts said. “I was glad that we were able to make a compromise.”

Parent found that they “came to an understanding,” and the policy will remain in place for Friday’s rally. However, athletes will still participate in games and their music suggestions will be utilized during that time as well.

Additionally, there will be an opportunity to bring skits back for the spring pep rally, depending upon how the rally tomorrow goes. Juster’s tentative plan is to have a preview committee in which the teams must present their skit two weeks in advance to the pep rally. The idea will be approved or disapproved at that time. He will leave the option open for teams to either do an approved skit or to walk out to the fight song at the last rally of the year.

“I hope student athletes are happy that they will be able to perform skits in the near future,” Watts said.

Parent wants all to know that the goal of the pep rally is to acknowledge and appreciate one another. It is to “celebrate all of Lancer Nation” in his eyes. It is not solely about the student athletes but everyone in the community.

Parent also praised those on the pep rally team for their “graciousness to take feedback,” and is confident that they will “continue to finetune.”

“I want to thank the pep rally aides and Mr. Juster for their willingness to put on a great show that students will appreciate,” Watts said. “They are the ones who will make all of this happen, and I personally am excited to see both the winter and spring pep rallies.”

Pep rally skit decision made without considering compromise

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Decision made: no skits at the winter pep rally