By JACKI SANDS and GABRIELLE KATZ
A plan for modifying Homecoming Weekend has frequently been considered in the past, and will now be implemented due to a variety of reasons that include low high school student turnout, the desire to increase fundraising opportunities for clubs and activities, and two unfortunate incidents that occurred during this year’s events.
The first of the two incidents occurred Friday afternoon between a carnival game worker and a Jericho Middle School student. According to witnesses, while goofing around with his friends at one of the game booths, the middle school student asked the carnival worker what it felt like to be hit with the cork from the gun. The worker impulsively shot the student, which disturbed some onlookers. According to Mrs. Rosenberg, “The young man that he hit was okay.” But a young girl who witnessed the incident called her parents which led to the police being called. The child involved in the incident was uninjured. Mrs. Rosenberg said that she was not aware of any charges being pressed against the worker and that the situation was handled well. Jericho High School junior Jordan L. witnessed the scene and said, “The situation was handled efficiently, and it was not as bad as rumors made it seem to be.”
The second incident occurred Saturday afternoon during the varsity football game. Intending to go forward, a woman unintentionally backed up her car and went through the fence near the carnival, accidentally striking a young girl. Luckily, there were ambulances on sight for the football game, and emergency personnel provided immediate assistance. Thankfully, the young girl was uninjured.
The carnival has always been a Homecoming Weekend tradition. Now, District Administration seeks an alternative to the carnival for next year. According to Jericho High School principal Ms. Rosenberg, “We’ve been thinking about it for a couple of years, since we haven’t been getting the same kind of excitement about it.” She added, “High school kids host some of the booths from the clubs. Otherwise we’re not really getting the high school students to attend. We’re getting more of the middle and elementary schools, and we want to get the High School more involved.”
At this point there is no specific final plan for the future of Homecoming, but Ms. Rosenberg gave some insight on what may happen next year. “We can say that it will not have some of the carnival rides and probably will not have the food. We can make our own cotton candy. We can certainly pop our own popcorn. We can certainly have our own pretzels, and then the clubs can get some of the benefit from that because right now we get nothing from the food sales.”
Health teacher, Spirit Club adviser, and Varsity Club adviser Mrs. Romano underscored the benefits of a change. “Part of it I think is that with the carnival, we only get proceeds from the sale of the tickets. We don’t get proceeds from the concession stands or games, and those also make quite a bit of money. We’re only getting one third of the money that the carnival is actually making,” she said.
Students are generally in favor of some modifications. Senior Sydney D. said, “I think it’s a great idea that the administration is changing homecoming to target more high school students.” Senior Jordyn M. said, “I think change will be good because I think they need to target more of a High School audience.” Jericho freshman Wesley P. believes that administration shouldn’t be getting rid of carnival because he believes it “is a lot of fun and I like participating in it.”
Superintendent of Jericho Schools Mr. Grishman said, “I am doing this with mixed feelings because of the long history that the carnival has had, but I look forward to new ideas that don’t have the increased health and safety concerns like the carnival does.”
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