Was Spirit Week Rigged

Seniors Walkout Over Loss


Seniors cheer passionately for their dodgeball team

Perhaps the most memorable ending of spirit week was lead by none other than the beloved senior class, who capped off the eventful week by walking out of the gym. Every class is remembered for something; for some, it’s raising a lot of money, and for others, it’s having a funny senior prank. This senior class will most likely be remembered for their walkout, instead of their many great attributes. When reflecting back at spirit week there was an obvious divide between the senior class and the faculty of the high school. Both have their own views, and neither side seems to be backing down. 

Being a freshman at Hamilton-Wenham, there are a couple of things that we’re clear about spirit week. The first is that prior to this year, the seniors always win; no matter what any other class does, the seniors will be crowned victorious at the end of the week. Some say this is because, by the time students are seniors, they are the most enthusiastic, perhaps because they are graduating soon. However, many also believe that the competition is rigged in favor of the seniors. Many classes seem to have resigned themselves to losing,  knowing when their senior year rolls around they will win. Regardless, every class seems to have a good time. Most people are excited to have the opportunity to represent their class in fun activities. This year, however, something felt different.

This year there seemed to be a cloud of tension between the seniors and the staff. It started with the hallway competition. Several seniors were seen messing with the freshmen hallway prior to judging, however, the freshmen didn’t seem too fazed.  Several other classes said this had been done other years and this was not the first time by any means. Additionally, a few seniors put up inappropriate pictures on the senior wall that faculty removed. This lead to a discussion about disqualification. The seniors were not disqualified, but were penalized and did not score well on this competition. 

From that point on, tensions seemed to rise.  Many seniors felt that the staff were over scrutinizing every decision they made as if the seniors had a target on their backs.  Some faculty felt that the seniors should set an example and were not necessarily acting their age.   

Other classes started to take sides.  The sophomores started supporting the seniors, while the juniors seemed to bate the seniors.  Nowhere was this better seen than the dodgeball tournament when the juniors were playing the seniors. Both classes were on the floor, yelling for their team. The seniors fell behind but were making a comeback when a controversial call was made by a staff member ending their fairytale win.  Students surged forward, seniors furious, juniors yelling taunts, both classes having to be told to sit down by the staff. 

As the week continued there were no events that matched the animosity of the dodgeball game. However, for anyone who paid attention, it was obvious that the feud between the juniors and seniors was far from over. Finally, as the end of the week came students gathered in the gym excited to start thanksgiving break. People were also anticipating the seniors walking out victorious, as much as the juniors had made a strong fight people knew that their time would be next year. As the assembly came to a close, it was clear the seniors were getting ready to storm the court, victorious. Then it was announced the juniors had won. It seemed as if the gym went quiet for a while, though it was mere seconds, then the started cheering. This is the seniors led the famous walkout. No one was sure what to make of it. Whatever it was it was followed with more controversy.  

Following the announcement, there was a powder puff game between the junior and senior girls.  Students on both teams were more physical than usual, including pulling hair and purposeful tripping of opponents. Finally, the game ended with the seniors being victorious all left a little bruised for break.

This year’s spirit week will always be considered one to remember. By the faculty, it will be remembered for the drama involving the seniors. The seniors will leave this school remembering the year they were robbed of the prize of bragging rights over the rest of the school that every senior class had been granted prior to this year. As spirit week continues in the years to follow one can only imagine what will be done by the faculty to prevent a repeat of the events that took place this year. Whether it be removing spirit week altogether or cutting back the number of days, changes will likely be made.  However, no changes will give the seniors back the win they lost.