Homecoming rally cut short following severe student injury

Chloe Wintersteen

Leadership teachers decided to terminate today’s homecoming rally following the collapse of a senior girl who was knocked unconscious during the presentation of the Class of 2016.

According to P.E. teacher and rally host Mike Dibley, the senior class traditionally runs down the bleachers and onto the gym floor when their class is announced during homecoming rallies. However, this tradition got out of hand during today’s rally.

Seniors run down the bleachers for the presentation of the Class of 2016.
Seniors run down the bleachers for the presentation of the Class of 2016.

“There have been kids who’ve been knocked down before, but this time a girl in the front got knocked down and knocked out,” Dibley said. “She hit her head, and was able to get up with help immediately, no one trampled her or anything… I ran and got her in my arms, and then her eyes rolled back, and [then] boom she was unconscious.”

While Dibley carried the girl out of the rally with the help of a few students, administrators called for an ambulance.

“The ambulance came, they took her off, and she regained consciousness,” Dibley said.

However, danger did not cease following the girl’s collapse. According to Dibley, seniors proceeded to run up to the top row of the junior bleachers.

“They basically invaded the junior seating area,” Dibley said. “While I didn’t see punches or taunts, [running up to the top row of the Junior bleachers] had never happened before, and that’s not ok with me.”

According to Dibley, the combination of danger, bad behavior, and limited time remaining in the rally resulted in Leadership’s decision to end the rally early.

“Ultimately, I’m the one who gave the message to call off the rally, but there are a number of people in Leadership who went into deciding that, and it was a quick decision that had to be made,” Dibley said.

The decision to terminate the rally ultimately resulted in the exclusion of a performance from Peer Resource as well as the senior skit, both longstanding homecoming rally traditions.

“We could have done the senior skit if the running had not happened,” Dibley said.

However, Dibley hopes that the senior skit will still be able to perform for the student body in the near future.

“We’re talking about having the senior skit perform during Klassy Kickoff halftime at lunch, though nothing is finalized,” Dibley said.

Dibley believes that “growing pains,” or rather, increased student enrollment, influenced the problems during today’s homecoming rally.

“We were already running late, and we had already cut Peer Resource,” Dibley said. “We did not start the rally until more than 5 minutes late because it took classes a long time to get into the gym. We have 1,800 kids, it’s going to take longer than it used to.”

Due to today’s unexpected proceedings, Dibley, along with Leadership, hopes to create a more supportive environment for future rallies.

“There was no malice today at all, but there are some things we can do differently,” Dibley said. “Doing things like no more running out and adding ten minutes to each rally by making lunches 35 minutes could really help. I think we can have safe, fun, and healthy rallies moving forward.”