By the Warrior Weekly Staff and Fourth Block Journalism Class         

On May 24, the senior class of 2013 had their “last hurrah.” However, this has caused quite a conflict. Twenty seniors were suspended for leaving the Dunn Gym and taking an additional lap of the hallways.

Prior to May 24, Dr. Lord notified the students and their families via email that seniors were to be dismissed from class at around 1:40 p.m. and taken down to the gym for a surprise: an ice cream social. However, some seniors were determined to leave the gym, earning suspensions for 20 that were caught on camera . Those suspended were not allowed to attend one of the senior week trips.

Cartoon by Jenny Jung and Judy Park
Cartoon by Jenny Jung and Judy Park

 

The Andover High School community is split on their opinions; members of the staff and administration have shown their support for the actions taken, while students interviewed have expressed disagreement toward the punishments.

When asked about the events that took place last Friday, Dr. Lord said, “Myself and other administrators asked students to not leave the gym; however the students did not respond to our orders and that is where the suspensions came into play.”

But Dr. Lord did not feel this way towards every senior in the gym, giving praise to the students who showed respect. He said, “I’m glad that the overall behavior was very good. We are all about respect and we are all capable of demonstrating respect. With the exception of those few kids everyone was very respectful.”

Mr. Seide, assistant principal, stated that what happened on the seniors’ last day was similar to what he has seen in other schools, and agreed with Dr. Lord, saying, “The vast majority of students were very respectful. There were some who crossed the line but there was nothing too horrible. However we have seen that there are consequences for actions.”

Studentsthat voiced their opinions, on the other hand,  felt the opposite toward the punishment.

Sicely Fallon, a senior who was present in the gym, said, “The senior lap is a tradition, one that was broken this year because of the administration. The administration claims to want to build school spirit, but they tore it down.”

Junior Julia Ganley agreed with Fallon, in that the actions of the administration “foster resentment” because students want to participate in school spirited events, but feel the administration wants to be too strict on them.

 “I don’t think they should have been punished at all,” said Rachel Harris, another junior. She speculated that because of the seniors’ actions, the class of 2014 may not be able to take a lap next year.

“Let them do a lap,” said Harris. “It is a total of maybe a minute of class time. Teachers waste two minutes every class trying to set up a projector or something. Why can’t they waste a minute of the entire year for the seniors to walk around once?”

The final lap has been a school tradition for approximately the last decade. Not all teachers disagree with it.

“I agree with the idea of the last lap,” said teacher Mrs. Breen, “but it should be done in a safe and fun fashion. If [the] administration has rules, students should follow them.”

Xavier Briggs, Steven Kimball, Conor Meehan, Yoonjin Moon, Ashley Richmond, Tarushi Sharma, and Nick Valeri contributed to this article.