Breaking: Admin discussing Spirit Week scale-backs and Homecoming cancellation after Friday football chaos

Jonathan Chen, Brennen Ho, and Payton Anderson

Editor’s Note: The Paly Voice is publishing information from these draft minutes so students can express their opinions on Spirit Week modifications prior to any official decisions made by the administration. The Paly Voice sought comments from Principal Kline on the situation and was offered a Friday interview.

A group of Palo Alto High School students appear at the back of the bleachers of the Henry M. Gunn High School student section at the first rivalry football game since 2012 last Friday. The group was a subsection of the hundreds of Paly students who collectively stormed the Gunn student section. The student’s behavior resulted in administrators canceling the game early with a score of 41-0, in favor of Paly. Taken into consideration along with other questionable behaviors, including egg and water balloon fights, Paly administrators are considering punishing Paly students by taking away spirit rallies and even the Homecoming dance. (Photo: Annelise Balentine)

Administrators at Palo Alto High School are considering reducing this month’s five Spirit Week rallies to two to scale-back spirit activities after the chaotic ending to last Friday’s rival football game, as well as ongoing behavioral issues.

According to draft meeting minutes from the Associated Student Body’s Tuesday meeting shared with The Paly Voice by an ASB member who asked not to be identified, Principal Brent Kline originally wanted to cancel all rallies between Monday and Thursday, but ultimately decided to keep Wednesday’s rally after an hour-long discussion with ASB members.

In response to last year’s egg fights between students, Kline chose a reformative approach involving a public apology from ASB and a student-led clean up. However, Kline may not be providing such flexible consequences now.

The minutes indicate Kline is considering canceling the annual Homecoming dance if the tradition of egg fights between juniors and seniors returns this year.

According to the minutes, Kline said Paly and Henry M. Gunn High School’s past culture of rivalry has led to numerous instances of bad behavior. From water balloon fights to last year’s egg fights, Kline told ASB that Paly students have repeatedly engaged in inappropriate behavior and he believes it’s time for a change. 

To prevent future misbehavior during future events, Kline also suggested adding more bonding activities for the student body. As stated in the meeting minutes, he proposed starting new Spirit Week activities including collective art, volunteering, and Quad-based performances.

Additionally, students may have the opportunity to earn back more rallies as a reward for improved behavior, according to the meeting minutes.

Discussions are still ongoing, and the administration is set to continue talking with ASB on Thursday. According to the meeting minutes, the final decisions from administrators will be revealed to students during an assembly Friday.