SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) — Students at Santa Monica High School say they deserve a second chance after an unruly school assembly prompted the school’s principal to cancel their homecoming pep rally.
The school’s principal, Eva Mayoral, canceled the on-campus event after sophomores, juniors and seniors at an assembly last week were reportedly clapping and “cheering at inappropriate times,”, according to sophomore Walker Davidson.
Parents received a recorded message from Principal Mayoral explaining her decision.
“Large numbers of students showed their house principals an unwillingness to gather with respect and civility, thereby undermining our faith that we can hold a safe and respectful pep rally of 3,000 students next Friday,” she said.
Student Jackie Yapkaowitz told CBS2’s Jeff Nguyen her cheerleading squad has been rehearsing a routine for more than a month in anticipation of the yearly rally.
“Now that it’s canceled, a lot of people are getting mad about it,” said Yapkaowitz, adding each girl has already paid for her uniform. “Now all of our money and hard work has gone to waste.”
Her mother, Edith Mendez, said her daughter has balanced a difficult schedule with the hopes of performing at the pep rally.
“Three, four days a week,” said Mendez. “Really, really long days, and you know she’s got these honors classes too.”
The cancellation of the pep rally will also mean the end of a tradition known as the ‘Greenie Run,’ when seniors on the water polo team run around covered in green paint.
Seniors said the punishment doesn’t fit the crime and they deserve a second chance.
“It’s my senior year and I was expecting it to be huge,” said Mary Guirguis.
Students said they have already been informed Mayoral will not change her mind. Calls and emails to the school principal and superintendent were not returned.
“Some people don’t go to the homecoming game or the homecoming dance,” said Yapkaowitz. “But the pep rally, everyone has to go. And that’s the one time that everyone’s all together as a family.”