It is difficult to see the video of Friday’s pep rally inside the Richmond Senior High School gymnasium and not at least understand Jennifer Everett’s concern.
It also makes us yearn for the good old days. For surely, Friday’s pep rally, which lacked both pep and rally, is not the best experience we can offer today’s high school students.
This is not to take away from the cheerleaders, who performed admirably and with enthusiuasm. Green and gold pride all the way. This is not to take away from the Raider marching band, which was on tune to ever last note.
But cheerleaders and the band make up only two-thirds of any good pep rally — those two elements are there, after all, to ignite passion and fire in the crowd. Except, when the crowd isn’t allowed to get fired up it, well, sort of defeats the purpose of a pep rally.
A school district official mentions pranks. Then vandalism. Then declares that any new rule that limits exhibitionism or a show of support for the Green and Gold will be a benefit to someone’s safety. However, it’s never explained how any pranks that were played last week endangered anyone’s safety.
Without those details, well, we’re left to believe this might be a simple case of safety run amok. The 28-second video clip shot by Everett was shocking. In the newsroom, we were baffled and bufuddled.
Unfortunately, this falls right in line with no longer crowning a homecoming queen or awarding first place to deserving floats in the homecoming parade. Both are traditions that now have gone by the wayside since Everett graduated RSHS in 1991.
Everett was right. She wasn’t sure what to call what happened Friday morning inside the school gymnasium. But it sure wasn’t a pep rally.