Covid concerns cause Homecoming Dance to be postponed

An increase in covid-19 cases among students has resulted in the anticipated Homecoming dance to be indefinitely postponed, eliciting disappointment from individuals expecting to attend the event.

ASB+members+take+down+the+decorative+lights+following+the+postponement+announcement+after+spending+the+day+setting+up+for+the+Homecoming+dance.

CREDIT: ISABELLA THOMAS | THE MIRROR

ASB members take down the decorative lights following the postponement announcement after spending the day setting up for the Homecoming dance.

After consulting with the Local District and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the school administration has decided to postpone the annual Homecoming dance — initially scheduled for Saturday — until further notice. The decision was made to ensure the safety of students and staff, following a rise in covid-19 cases believed to have stemmed from close contact between individuals.

“As always, the safety and wellbeing of all students and staff is my main priority,” Principal De Santiago said in a written statement posted on Schoology. “At this time, postponing the dance is the best decision.” 

Students who wish to be compensated with refunds for their purchased Homecoming dance tickets may visit the student store during lunch. 

The rescheduled date of the event is uncertain. According to Associated Student Body (ASB) and Senior Board advisor Mr. Jacob Ferrin, it is speculated that the dance will not take place until after the month of October. This is based on the presumption that positive covid-19 cases will drop once students receive the vaccine mandated by LAUSD and the state of California. 

“They are postponing it, not canceling it,” Ferrin said, emphasizing the prospect of the dance taking place at a later point in time. (CREDIT: ISABELLA THOMAS | THE MIRROR )

The Homecoming parade and football game still took place, in addition to the awaited Homecoming Royalty elections, without any new regulations due to the fact that social distancing of six feet can still be maintained.

“In a parade, we can space people six feet apart,” Ferrin said. “At a dance, you all come together in a big crowd of people, jump up and down and breathe really hard, and will probably take off your masks.” 

Ferrin sees the postponement as an opportunity to have a better Homecoming in the future since this year’s event was organized within a short period of time. While the administration was originally supposed to receive information relating to the set date of the dance in June, they had only obtained the material in August. This, along with several changes made by the District that the school was unaware of, led to uncertainty regarding whether or not it was suitable to hold the event. 

ASB Dance Commissioner Anya Shyani feels defeated and expresses discontent with how her commitment to helping host the event has been overlooked by the school. 

“I’m sad, angry, devastated and most of all, I’m tired,” Shyani said. “I feel like all my hard work has not been appreciated by the school, and that student opinions have not been regarded.”

Senior Board Secretary Stephanie Guerra shares the sentiment of being undervalued. 

“We went through so many obstacles to get our Homecoming and as the end nears, they just tell us to pack it up,” she said.

Ferrin and his fellow staff members empathize with the ASB, acknowledging the degrees of time and effort the dedicated members contributed towards preparing for the Homecoming dance. 

“We share the frustration,” Ferrin said. “We share that sadness. There was a lot of blood, sweat and tears poured into this event. You see the light and the tunnel caves in at the last second. I know it’s rough for everybody, and I know people are going to be upset, but there is nothing anyone at this school can do about it.”

ABANDONED: ASB was forced to stop all preparation for the event and clean up all decorations being set up on the quad. An empty ladder stands alone. (CREDIT: ISABELLA THOMAS | THE MIRROR)

Members of the ASB are disheartened by the actuality that their diligence and progress devoted to coordinating the event, failed to amount to an accomplished product. While Senior Board Vice President Kaella Chin wishes that the delay had not been announced in such short notice, she refuses to allow it to discourage her and hopes the orchestration of next year’s Homecoming event will be conducted in a more effective manner.

“I’m really upset that they didn’t tell us sooner and let us continue setting up for the event, knowing there was a possibility it wouldn’t happen,” Chin said. “It just feels like all of our hard work going into this was for nothing, but I’m looking forward to us having more time to improve the dance and not have it be so restricted in the future.” 

In conjunction with members of school faculty and associates of the ASB and Senior Board, students such as freshman Ocean Threats were also peeved to hear about the postponement. Despite her discontentment, she anticipated the likelihood of the event being rescheduled due to the overwhelming number of students buying tickets for the dance.

“I think that people running Homecoming may have underestimated the number of people that were going to buy tickets,” Threats said. “I feel sad about it, but I kind of expected it.”

Knowing that this Homecoming event would be his last, a wave of sadness hit Senior Gregorio Martinez, who looked forward to experiencing it one final time with his classmates. 

“I’m really disappointed that Homecoming got postponed since I was really excited for it,” he said. “This is my last one, which pains me since I wanted to chill with my friends.”

While many students have come to accept the postponement, others including Senior Michael Flores advocate for the dance to proceed as planned, arguing that the danger of more individuals contracting covid-19 is minimal.

“There is no real reason for it to be canceled,” Flores said. “To be honest, I think they should still do it because one event can’t cause more cases than we’re already having.”

Ferrin suggests that students spend their Saturday night safely at home with friends and family, rather than trying to attend or put together another party in place of the delayed Homecoming dance. He advises against this for the purpose of avoiding a repeat of an incident during the last school year, in which students had been scammed by anonymous people online claiming to be hosting proms and charging payment for tickets. 

“Do something else, do something productive,” Ferrin said. “ Go out with friends. Find some way to do something cool without having a dance. Please exercise caution.”

In spite of this controversial turn of events, Principal De Santiago remains hopeful and commends students for doing their best to adhere to the covid-19 safety regulations set by the administration. 

“We knew that trying to get back to normal school activities would be challenging,” she said in her written statement. “I am inspired each and every day by the commitment of our students and staff to comply with all of our safety guidelines.”