What Spirit Day?

If a spirit day happened in upper school and no one heard about it, then did it really happen?

The Gazebo says no.

Last Thursday, Oct. 30, was a spirit day to celebrate the evening pep rally for fall sports, senior night, and football’s Friday night game against Wilkinson County.

But by the Gazebo’s rough count, at least half of the student body showed up in uniform on Thursday morning because they didn’t hear about the spirit day.

Students who didn’t dress in spirit wear were upset at being stuck wearing a uniform when everyone else was wearing jeans and a T-shirt.

“I’m very frustrated I was not informed on the attire, and it was very unclear so if I came in the wrong thing I didn’t want to get in trouble,” sophomore Kasey Sanders said.

No one wants to be that one kid that shows up dressed down when everyone else is in uniform.

Students who did dress down heard about the spirit day haphazardly — through word of mouth and social media.

Assistant Principal Mr. Chance Reynolds said that last week’s event was scheduled almost a year in advance and posted on the calendar on the school website.

“Anytime we have a pep rally it is a spirit day. Yesterday was unusual because we usually have pep rallies on Friday, not Thursday,” Reynolds said.  “Ms. Brogdon sets the pep rally schedule in the summer and the administration picks four days and this one in particular was somewhat leading up to the senior night for all fall sports. It’s been on the school calendar all year, so I e-mailed Mrs. Todd to let SIB and SAB know so they could spread the word.”

But while it may have been on the calendar for months, many students do not know that pep rallies automatically mean spirit days — and this spirit day was inadequately publicized last week by the administration and Student Activities Board (SAB).

As Reynolds suggested, it seems as though even the SAB may not have remembered the spirit day until Wednesday afternoon.

“I overhead Coach Reynolds tell some people, and Morgan Maier tweeted it,” said senior Spencer Williams, who also is the senior class president.

SAB President Morgan Maier tweeted the announcement on Wednesday evening, as did @SEA_StudentSect, also known as “The Grady Bunch.”

Senior Brighten Donner and junior AnaGrace Ballard also said they got word of the spirit day from their own separate grade group messages.

“I heard from Jack and Virginia Ann in the Group Me, but not at school,” Donner said.

Ballard said she also heard “through a group message when someone from SAB texted.”

But several students felt that Twitter and group messages were not a sufficient way at letting the entire student body know about the spirit day.

“They should let everyone know through announcements the day before so we can all dress out for spirit day, and announce it more often during the day,” Sophomore Lawson Hayden said.

Junior Camille Bone, who spent the day in uniform, also suggested announcing spirit days during Monday assemblies and in homerooms the day before.

“They are not well planned, they are last minute, maybe make an announcement during lunch,” Ballard added.

Reynolds agreed with Bone.

“We can do a better job of letting everyone know about it in the future,” he said.

The Gazebo believes that a spirit day just isn’t as spirited without proper publicity.

Twitter is good as far as it goes.  But as students above have suggested, social media on its own is inadequate to get the word out.  Announcements should be made in assembly and homeroom, as well as posted in the halls well in advance.

 — By Mary Kathryn Hightower and Maddi Matassarin