Administration haunts senior HoCo hallways

Although+the+horror+theme+was+quickly+replaced+by+sci-fi%2C+seniors+already+lost+the+spirit+to+participate+in+it.+%E2%80%9CSci-Fi+wasn%E2%80%99t+really+the+best+theme+since+the+seniors+got+third+place+for+the+first+time+in+a+couple+of+years.+Nobody+really+wanted+to+participate+in+it%2C%E2%80%9D+Gana+said.

Photo by Andrew Plotnick

Although the horror theme was quickly replaced by sci-fi, seniors already lost the spirit to participate in it. “Sci-Fi wasn’t really the best theme since the seniors got third place for the first time in a couple of years. Nobody really wanted to participate in it,” Gana said.

Counting the days to Homecoming, students were waiting for the highly anticipated themes for each grade. It was later found out that despite Homecoming being on the Oct. 29 and two days before Halloween, the Senior’s horror hallway theme was struck down by the administration and Principal Jennifer Baker.

We’re highschoolers, ages ranging from 13 to 18 years old and most of us have already watched at least one horror movie already disproving the “It’s too gory” or “It’s inappropriate” excuse. Even if it were the case, the decorations could be easily toned down. In my elementary school, every “fall fest” had a haunted hallway. Keep in mind, this was for kids ranging from five to 10 years-old. There were jumpscares, mist and sound effects which in my experience, would scare a seven year old more than a teenager.

“I was worried about the idea disturbing some folks that would be coming through the halls. Not everyone loves haunted houses, forests or halls. I simply asked if something a little less potentially traumatic could be considered. We try to be inclusive with our whole school activities and I was not sure everyone would be comfortable with the horror theme,” Baker said.

Despite Baker’s good intentions, they came off as demeaning to students, indirectly calling us immature.

“A lot of schools incorporate horror themes and it was around Halloween, so it wouldn’t really have been inappropriate,” senior Lilia Gana said. “High schoolers are exposed to blood and wounds in mandatory health classes anyway, so it wouldn’t be crossing any boundaries.”

In MCPS, the health classes cover much more triggering topics such as sexual abuse and child abuse, yet we are still required to take these lessons. It’s understandable that everybody has their own experiences and triggers; however, horror is something a lot of students have been exposed to from a young age. This Halloween, many kids trick-or-treating dressed as characters such as Ghostface, Michael Myers and Chuckie.

As someone who generally hates horror movies and haunted houses, I wouldn’t want to take that from the other students seeing as a majority of our school enjoys the genre.

Overall, seniors being denied the opportunity to show their Halloween spirit really set the tone for their Sci-Fi theme and how it was approached. The seniors ended up getting third place for the first time in a while after years of getting first place.

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