Renee Sang

Seminole High School experienced some disturbances over homecoming week, but remains strong.

Adrian De Guzman, Reporter

During homecoming week, there were many occurrences before and after school disrupting Seminole’s schedule. This has raised many questions towards what exactly happened at those times, what is rumor and what is fact.

The most impactful event to the population of Seminole occurred on Friday, before school even began. Administrators discovered still-wet paint on buildings that morning, and immediately reported it. The graffiti was found on the glass at the entrance of the media center, the metal door to the band room, as well as on the brick wall of Tomahawk. Following this, many students, teachers, and parents expressed concern over the safety of the school, and news regarding the paintings and their possible meanings spread all over social media.

About two hours after discovering the graffiti, two students came up to principal Dr. Connie Collins and said that they had heard a rumor of a shooting that may occur. This was the last straw in a series of concerns over the safety of the upcoming pep rally, which led to its cancellation.

Junior Demarco Artis, Varsity football player, says, “It didn’t really affect our gameplay. As long as we all played together, as long as we know we all had each other’s back, we weren’t affected.”

Dr. Collins was upset about the cancellation of the pep rally, saying, “I was really saddened by Friday’s circumstances. I felt like we allowed, as a school, gossip, not even a threat, to steal our pep rally. Sometimes people don’t understand the potential harm spreading rumors can do. You could incite a riot, [and] all kinds of things when people are frightened.”

Fortunately, all hope is not lost for the seniors’ last stadium pep rally. Leadership fully intends to make up for the lost pep rally, and aims to host a new one in January.

“We had initially planned to go on with the pep rally, because we had no viable threat,” says Dr. Collins. “It was a rumor, but the most important thing was that people were concerned about it. In my mind, if that many people were concerned about it, it would really take away from the fun of the pep rally[…]There was no real point to push forward.”

Many groups of student performers were to make an appearance Friday, November 6, including the band, Dazzlers, step team, and the cheerleaders.

Assistant Principal Mr. Dale Phillips, head of student-run activities, says, “I didn’t have any concerns about the pep rally itself. The pep rally was well organized, all the groups to perform were ready to go, but there was just a massive panic [on Friday].”

On Wednesday of homecoming week, smoke was found in one of the bathrooms, and soon after this first incident was discovered, two other instances of smoke were found in other buildings. The three buildings affected were Renegade, Tribe, and Warrior. The school is not certain of the culprit or his motives, but one theory is that this was an attempt to emulate the fires started in bathrooms in other schools such as at Winter Springs. Luckily, there were never any actual fires in the buildings, and the bathrooms were still fully functional the next day during school.

As for the homecoming dance, it ended 30 minutes early due to an equipment malfunction. The DJ that hosted the event brought a fog machine to enhance the special effects and make the dance more interesting. The machine was creating fog at a higher rate than it typically creates, causing there to be too much in the room and requiring a vacation of the gym.

Despite all the adversity it was faced with on this supposed-to-be happy homecoming week, Seminole High and its community remains unfazed, and is determined to look at the best side of this situation.