Husky Halftime is not just a fun privilege. It is important for our students.

Both the administration and some students are treating Husky Halftime as if it is disposable, and it is hurting hardworking students and club leadership.

Thomas Rose, Writer

Husky Halftime was a cornerstone of our school’s academic success for a long time, but ever since the COVID crisis of March 2020, it has fallen on hard times. It was simply nonexistent during half of my freshman year and all of my sophomore year. Even though it made a return this year, it was a pyrrhic victory, as it was restricted to just once every Friday.

And now? It is gone entirely. Principal Amy Pressly announced Monday that due to student misconduct, Husky Halftime has been taken away for the entirety of the school until further notice. According to Pressly, students played tag, littered and even committed vandalism by destroying school property. From what I and others have seen, these students tend to be freshmen and sophomores who have not had Halftime before. I don’t blame this issue entirely on underclassmen, but a factor contributing to our Husky Halftime problem is that they don’t know how to use it effectively. 

 The use of collective punishment by the administration to deal with student misconduct was neither effective nor fair. Troublemakers will not stop, regardless of the lunch schedule, because a student who already has the gall to destroy school property and give our already overworked custodians more frustration is not going to feel remorse because they ruined Halftime for everyone else. Our admins should have worked to punish these students individually by taking Halftime away from them,  rather than how they punished everyone without fixing the root issue.

In addition, this punishment does not even target vandals and “litterbugs.” The people who are most adversely impacted by this punishment are club leaders and members. Clubs are already under heavy pressure to manage once-a-week meetings with the current Halftime schedule, due to sports after school. An alternative is having clubs meet before the day, but having them meet so early would hurt club attendance. Club leaders are scrambling to find a new schedule, and this punishment is unfair to them.

Academic Support Time, or AST, is not a suitable alternative for clubs because of the wretched E-Hallpass system, and it is not an academic alternative either. AST is only for 30 minutes on odd days, which is not a suitable amount of time to make up assessments, labs and longer assignments. AST also requires the use of E-Hallpass, a relic that should have been abandoned at the end of last school year. AST is not a proper alternative to Halftime, and should not be treated as such.

Halftime is often discussed in purely academic terms, and the debate is usually over whether it is integral to academic success or not. However, the social aspect is by far the most important, and being able to develop friendships and socialize in school is a need, not a privilege. Due to the number of shift changes, the current lunch schedule leaves little opportunity for friends to see one another. Students were in a generally worse mental state last year than they are now, as they could not see their friends or make new ones. Having no Halftime hurts the mental health of our students.

We as upperclassmen need to do better. We need to make ourselves into positive examples by refusing to let ourselves and those around us litter or vandalize, even if it makes us feel smug or self-righteous to point them out. However, the school’s administration has failed us with this decision. Academic success and good mental health among our students are needs and not privileges. Disposing of Husky Halftime is more of a disadvantage than a benefit.