Pep-fest walk out starts culture discussion

Principal Robert Bach, Student Council leaders, Students Promoting Cultural Awareness (SPCA) leaders, and many concerned teachers met for the second time on Nov. 1 to discuss the values the school should hold close. This meeting happened because during the Chevals performance at a pep fest, English teacher Corey Quick had walked out of the gymnasium in protest.

Instead of cheerleaders, Stillwater has Chevals, which is a dance team. They perform at most pep-fests and football games. At the homecoming pep-fest they were doing a line-kick to the song ‘Soulja Boy Tell’em’ and Quick thought that the lyrics to the song were provocative and inappropriate.

Senior Hunter Dall-Winther, Chevals dancer said, “He walked out as soon as the song came on;  I don’t understand why he left.”

We decided that we as a group need to establish some school values that as a school we should be doing. We came up with a top three list and they were learning, community and empowering students.”

— Atinuke Oduloye

Quick and others believe that the school needs to make changes to student culture. He is glad to have got the school talking about these issues.

“We discussed school climate and what that encompasses. It was a lot of how we value women, discussion of appropriateness of dress/behavior and censorship of our music at school,” sophomore Anna Weirtz, member of Student Council said.

During the second meeting, they discussed what can be done to address this dilemma. They created a list of values that the school should abide by. In the end, they were able to narrow it down to three main things: learning, community and empowering students.

“We conducted an activity where we got to decide what we believe to be things that we value at this school. We generated a really large list and from there we all got to mark what we found to be the most important so we can start to best represent the school,” said English teacher Katie Barre.

SPCA members were encouraged to attend this meeting because their goal is to help promote a positive student environment. Their club is geared towards educating the student body on different cultures and anti-bullying.

“We decided that we as a group need to establish some school values that as a school we should be doing. We came up with a top three list and they were learning, community and empowering students,” junior Atinuke Oduloye, co-leader of SPCA said.

The school hopes that this new plan of installing values will help boost students morale and make Stillwater have a better learning environment overall.

“Our next step is to make it so more students voices are involved. We are at the beginning stages where we are trying to figuring out what comes next. Not only are we trying to figure out what to implement, but what we are trying to accomplish here. We are still figuring out our values, our goals, and what our path forward is going to be to make this a place where people can feel safe, where they can learn, and where they can voice their opinions appropriately without offending people,” said Barre.