On Friday, March 17, Walpole High Student Council will hold its first dance of the year, taking place in the Walpole High cafeteria from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Hosting the event on St. Patrick’s Day, Student Council has named this dance the “Shamrock Shake.”
In the past months, Principal Stephen Imbusch worked with student council and began planning the first school dance since they were cancelled at the beginning of the school year. He is determined to keep this dance substance free. Therefore, student council will be issuing out “dance slips” that will serve as admittance to the Shamrock Shake.
“These [rules] are actually very easy to abide by, you just don’t take any drugs or drink before the dance,” said Imbusch. “But I need something that if students come intoxicated, I have at least something that says ‘you knew the consequences.’’’
Each dance slip lists a variety of rules that students must obey at the school dance, and also requires both a student and parent signature to be signed at the bottom of the paper.
“I need the parents to be a part of this,” said Imbusch. “We need to have an understanding that this is a substance free event.”
Imbusch chose to implement these social contracts, as opposed to other alternatives such as breathalyzing.
“I don’t want to breathalyze every child coming through the door; I don’t like what it does to our school culture,” said Imbusch. “I also don’t want to search anybody because it’s assuming guilt until proven innocent as opposed to innocent until proven guilty.”
The Shamrock Shake will be the first dance of the 2016-2017 school year, after Walpole High administration announced their cancellation of annual school dances, such as the Pink Dance and Winter Ball semi-formal, which were often attended by a considerable number of intoxicated students.
“I have been asked why are you holding a dance now, and to be honest I think [the student body] has been spectacular this year,” said Imbusch. “Every event I’ve been to where there’s a crowd of kids has been very positive, and there has been no issues at school events.”
Administration also agreed to hold a dance as the senior class has yet to have a final school dance, other than the annual Prom.
“I think the seniors are probably my best group of advocates to have a positive school dance. Seniors have had three years of dances and have seen them go away. My thought is if they are going to go to their last school dance, they are going to do it right and not ruin them for other grades,” said Imbusch. “The current freshman have never had a school dance, and if I wait until next year, the freshman and sophomores will never have had a school dance here, and that’s half of the school.”
Student council and Imbusch hope the dance will set a new standard for school dances.
“I am hoping that this one dance will open up the door for more dances to happen. I am glad we are being given the opportunity to show administration that we can have a dance without any problems,” said event chair Sydnee Villa.
Preparing for the Shamrock Shake, the student council looks forward to hosting their first dance of the year.
“I would say that this dance is something that a majority of the school is excited for because we were not sure if we were going to have another one, but thanks to the collective efforts of the student body we proved to administration that we can have a dance again,” said Walpole Student Council President Michael Timson. “I’m looking forward to having a great dance and hopefully set the tone for the rest of the year.”