Senior Zaq Harris says given this is his last year he was really looking forward to the homecoming pep rally. He says he even had hopes of being voted homecoming king. That is until the school's principal, Eva Mayoral, canceled the rally.
Harris says during an assembly on campus last week, a lot of students were being loud and refused repeated demands by the principal to settle down. Harris admits he was being disruptive as well, but did not think the principal would go so far as to cancel the homecoming pep rally.
"We let our administrators down by behaving the way we did, which was unfortunate that we were clapping. We were clapping when the administrators were talking. That's why it got canceled. We were disrespecting. And, you know, any time you disrespect somebody, there should be some type of punishment, but nothing like taking a pep rally away from us. I am only going to be a senior once," said Harris.
Parents say they got a call and an email from Mayoral that stated, in part, "I will not place presenters in a position of having any further hard practice undermined by misbehaving mob mentality...or unwillingness to adhere to the basic etiquette of gatherings: listening and following directions. For these reasons, the pep rally next Friday has been canceled."
"I feel like we could have taken a different approach to what we canceled and why we canceled it because homecoming is a tradition," said student Talent Hatfield.
Some parents and students were hoping that the principal would have a change of heart but that does not appear to be the case.
"It seems a little extreme," said parent David Shriner.
The principal would not talk to us and the superintendent of schools did not return our calls. But one teacher said students have to deal with the consequences of their actions.
"If they can't follow the rules, then things happen. That is just how it goes. You suffer the consequences when you don't do what you are supposed to do," said Santa Monica High School teacher Sabrina Smith.