Tuesday, October 9, 2012
The Derby High School winter formal, called the Holly Ball, is canceled after some students destroy bleachers at a football game in Hutchinson.
"I fully expect that we will have a dance, but it's totally in their control," said Tim Hamblin, principal at Derby High School.
Hamblin held a school-wide assembly on Monday to challenge the student body to clean up their act.
He said there have been several increases, including the number of students arriving late to school, the number of students getting out of class before the bell, and increase of trash and litter on campus.
"It really upset me because Derby's a lot better than that. We've never done anything like that until this year," said Morrigan Crow, student.
But it was the behavior shown at football games that concerned Hamblin. There have been profane chants from students when the team kicks off at games.
"It's now become audible enough that when the student body becomes more of an issue and more of a focal point then the game on the field, that's not what we want," said Hamblin.
The final straw came last Friday when Hamblin received a call to make him aware of damage caused to bleachers by students from Derby High School at Hutchinson Community College during the game.
"I was disgusted. I was frustrated, furious, and ashamed of the actions that happened Friday night," he said.
Hamblin gave the students two consequences. First, students will no longer be able to paint their bodies and show their bare chests during games. Second, students will no longer have the winter dance.
"I think it's a good punishment. A lot of us are reacting in a good way. All of us are picking up trash at school. There [were] people outside after school today picking up trash. So, all of us are trying to do our part to be good students," said Colleen Compton, student council president.
Students have started collecting money to help pay for the nearly $3,000 worth of damage caused to the bleachers.
"We're realizing that we did something wrong and we're trying to change it. I think it's really great," said Compton.
The principal will be re-evaluating the student body's behavior by Nov. 26. He will decide on or before that date whether or not the Holly Ball may be held on Dec. 1.