Expression of spirit should not be a punishable offense

With fall sports underway, students are piling into the bleachers, sporting their red, white and blue shirts and accessories, but no body paint.
Students have requested to be able to paint a message on their skin for sporting events, but administration prohibits students from painting their bodies for sporting events, as it violates rules regarding inappropriate student behavior at athletic events.
“It can’t be done. Proper school attire is required at all Montgomery County Public School events,” Athletic Director Christopher Thompson said.
At all sporting events, violating the rules regarding attire will result in an escort out of the stadium or possibly suspension and a meeting with the students’ parents.
One of the best ways to portray spirit for the school is at Friday night football games, and when the Patriot football squad faced Richard Montgomery on Sept. 23, 10 students wrote “Doran’s Army” on their stomachs. After five minutes, administration demanded that they put their shirts back on, or else they would be forced to leave.
“Administration told us to put our shirts back on as it was inappropriate, but all we wanted to do was rile everyone up around us,” senior Zack Butler said.
What administration doesn’t understand about using body paint is that it is solely to show how much the students care about their team and school, as well as represent school spirit as much as possible.
“The Doran’s Army chest paint was meant to make our students more spirited about the game, and it was successful in doing so,” senior Justin Pykosh said.
Nearly every other school in the county allows students to use body paint at athletic events. Some schools’ students are also allowed to bring different accessories to help raise the noise level, such as drums and air horns. Not here though. You’d be lucky to get away with a cowbell.
“I ponder the fact why we were told to stop, and received a sub-adequate explanation and reasoning on how it’s a county policy that shirts must be worn, despite the fact that other schools in the county have a group of seniors that do the same thing,” Pykosh said.
At every home game at Quince Orchard, a few students write “Red Army” on their stomachs. Quince Orchard’s “Cougar Dome” is notorious for having one of the best student sections in all of Montgomery County, with body paint and other representations of school spirit.
“When you see administration and security escorting students out of the game for something that’s out of good intention, as well as acknowledging that our rivals schools do it, it’s disappointing to say the least,” senior football player Joey Roach said.
The fact that students can be punished for showing school spirit by painting an inspirational word on their stomachs is outrageous. Writing “Wootton Strong” or “Doran’s Army” symbolizes the community coming together, supporting one another and honoring the late Dr. Doran.
Body paint is popular among college athletics, allowing students to show their dedication to their school and give a positive vibe to the student section and allow them to get rowdy in support of their team.
“Students enjoy going to football games, being rowdy and ready to support their school, and body paint is just another way of showing appreciation for the hard work us players put in, giving our all in games for the fans,” Roach said.
Administration and security should allow students to have body paint at sporting events, giving them an opportunity to show their school spirit and support.

 

Nic Band

Opinion Editor

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