Sunday, October 2, 2016

Raise the Roof!

Homecoming Spirit: As I entered the high school this past Friday, the Homecoming Pep Rally noise was deafening. We have new dividers in the gym and the one closest to the senior section reads WEST GENESEE. The seniors sat quietly as a group in the bleachers behind the divider.

The Marching Band Drumline began to pound on their drums in unison as the divider was raised. The seniors began to cheer, which caused all of the other classes to cheer. Totally awesome! (If the video below does not show in your browser, click here.)

I looked to the roof, half expecting it to actually raise up off of the building. Luckily, it didn't; but the school spirit from that moment through the weekend was simply incredible. All of the festivities gave us a great kickoff for the rest of the school year, and I want to thank the kids for behaving so well along with the organizers of these events who helped students make some memories they will never forget!

No Scary Clowns: Luckily, those memories did not include scary clowns which are making headlines all across the country. People dressed up as scary clowns have been spotted just standing in random places. There have been no reports of any of these clowns causing any real problems, but scary clowns certainly play to the fears of some; especially younger children. If we do see any scary clowns, and it isn't Halloween, we will make sure they keep their distance from our buildings. I am not a fan of mimes, scary or otherwise, so we will also keep them away from the buildings. Spiders too.

Rights of our Students: At the grocery store the other day I was asked what lesson I was going to teach in my blog this week. Something very relevant and not as cut and dry as one might think has to do with students who kneel or sit during the Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem. Some people support the rights of students to sit or kneel, some defend the rights of students to sit or kneel, and some both support AND defend those rights.

The cut and dry answer to sitting or kneeling is freedom of speech and expression, both rights protected by the Constitution. These rights have not gone without challenge. In 1943 members of the Jehovah's Witnesses wanted to sit during the Pledge of Allegiance while in school. They were not allowed to do so because of a 1940 United States Supreme Court ruling in the case Minersville School District vs. Gobitis, that said that students could be forced to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

That ruling was later overturned in the United States Supreme Court case, West Virginia State Board of Education vs. Barnette. That ruling has really enforced the freedoms of speech and expression that students are displaying today. How is that for learning something?

I saw MANY people over the past four days, and I just want to tell you again how much I appreciate your support. We have a lot of very cool things happening around here, and I am excited to be a part of it.

Thanks and enjoy the week-