School should allow Ditch Day

After four years of intense pressure and work, seniors are well within their rights to request a culminating free day to bond within their class, especially when it’s a tradition as long-standing as Ditch Day.

The administration’s reaction to the planned ditching for April 20 was harsh and unnecessary. Admittedly, the seniors, guided by a student leader in an organized Facebook event, did not pick their day wisely: Peer Support, the Playwright’s Festival, and AP Art History exam combined to make that Monday the worse possible choice for Ditch Day. But for a custom as commonplace as Ditch Day, it seems ruthless and unfair to threaten the main orchestrator with punishment severe enough not only to taint his reputation of the school, but also to put him in jeopardy of having his college acceptances revoked (according to a message sent by the student to members of the event).

In an ideal world, the administration would turn a blind eye to the seniors’ organization of Ditch Day, recognizing that it’s as traditional for senior year as dancing to “Footloose” in the quad during 80s day. However, we realize the trouble posed by an impromptu ditching unbeknownst to the faculty, who plan classes and lectures far ahead of time. The best solution to this problem is a school sanctioned Ditch Day, similar to setups at other high schools around the country. While an approved Ditch Day may detract from some of the allure of “sticking it to the man,” seniors would still greatly appreciate the day off, even if it wouldn’t be as rebellious as they hoped. Ditch Day could even remain a surprise: when students in January 2005 got two surprise days off from school due to rain, both times the notifications came the night before. Why couldn’t the administration choose a date, ensuring that the teachers have some knowledge of the day beforehand to plan appropriately, and call seniors the day before? While our own, self-organized Ditch Day would still be preferable, this compromise would retain some thrill of spontaneous ditching for the students without disrespecting the teachers.

Regardless of the ultimate arrangement, in crushing the planned April 20 date the administration took draconian measures that completely disregarded the lighthearted nature of a senior Ditch Day. While they could have chosen a better time, the idea was merited, and in the future the school needs to remain open to plans for a day of freedom for seniors — after so much work, we all deserve some playtime.