Spirit Week Sparks Debate
April 5, 2020
When a senior student realized that the 2019-2020 school year would have a shorter spirit week than usual, he created a social media frenzy to unofficially extend it. Many seniors (and juniors, and sophomores) joined in, dressing up for unapproved themed days the week prior to the 3-day spirit week. Were they in the wrong, or should student council have anticipated their disappointment?
Seniors Speak Out
In the duration of Homecoming week at Brentwood, a group of twenty-seven seniors gathered to create their own spirit week. Due to the shortened week, Student Council was only able to release a three-day spirit week. The week created by the seniors consisted of gender swap day, character day, tacky tourist day, and color war Friday.
The creativity surprised, and even annoyed, some teachers and students at Brentwood. The opposing side believed that it wasn’t acceptable for the seniors to make their own spirit week because there was already one released by Student Council. Another reason why it was frowned upon by many was because it included gender swap day, which could have caused the school to receive criticism if anyone took offense.
Even though some argue that it was wrong for the seniors to do this, the seniors felt that they made the right decision by showing their pride for Brentwood in their own way. The seniors believed that three days weren’t enough for them to fully express their gratitude for Brentwood during their last year of high school.
Ivana Hernandez understood their motives. She explained that the seniors only had good intentions.
“Class of 2020’s spirit week was one of the best I have ever experienced in high school. A disappointing three-day spirit week drove all the seniors to create an extended one without the Student Council’s consent. Our goal was to make our last year as students in the Brentwood High School something to remember, and we did. This brought not only the seniors but (also) the underclassman together and showed the community a great representation of Brentwood pride,” Hernandez said.
Daniela Canales agreed with Hernandez. She discussed the deep resentment of the senior class for the shortened week.
“We all know how hard the seniors have worked all throughout their high school careers and we found it unfair that we couldn’t have the spirit week that we’ve been waiting for. Spirit week is supposed to be a week where we can show our creativity and just relax before we start preparing for college and plan for our future. We just wanted to do it right. It started off as a small thing and we didn’t expect people to go along with everything. But I guess that’s why they say Brentwood does it best,” Canales said.
“I felt like the original spirit week was super short for my last year of high school, so it was definitely a great idea for me and other seniors to take action, said Ruben Menacho, another senior.
The seniors accepted the fact that they knew why Gender Swap day wasn’t allowed. However, a founding member of the group stated that “it was not our intention to attack the LGBT community.” The member asked to remain anonymous.
Ultimately, the seniors made the choice to express their appreciation and spirit for Brentwood one last time before the step into their new journey. After all, they say, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Student Council Defends Decisions
Spirit week is an amazing week at school, as it demonstrates the pride that students have for Brentwood. Spirit week took a new turn of events when a senior created an alternative spirit week this year. This senior was inspired to create an alternative spirit week since weekdays had been reduced as a result of the monthly schedule layout.
With the emergence of this new spirit week, the student body and staff were taken aback by the challenges that it posed to the traditional number of themed days. Arguments concerning why student council chose a 3-day week instead of a 5-day week emerged as student council made this executive decision.
Spirit week is always held on the week leading up to Homecoming. Because of this, the question remains: why didn’t student council move homecoming to the Friday of a full week if the school has kept this tradition for the past few years? Unfortunately, student council doesn’t get to make this final decision, as the school administration has the upper hand.
The meeting where students get to decide on the themes for each day of spirit week revealed an interesting dilemma, as one of the senior’s themes, gender-swap day, was not permitted. If student council went against the school’s regulation against controversial themes such as gender-swap day, staff and teachers would be penalized.
At the end of the day, student pride represents the love and passion that students have for their school through the events that are held. However, as with any organized event, restrictions are inevitable. Overall, student council works as hard as they can with what they are given to organize the events that both the student body and staff can enjoy.