By Isabella Menjes and Akosua Baah 10/3/2022

School dances have been a staple in the high school experience for over a century, and today we'll be discussing perhaps one of the most recognizable: Homecoming. In past years, neither the dance nor game themselves have held the center stage. Most of our focus has been on dressing up for Homecoming Week. But when it comes to the dance, polls show that students have little to no idea what Homecoming is and how it relates to them. We took to the halls of Tucker High to find the source of our peers’ disinterest and indecision.

We first searched for a fresh, older perspective on things. On September 29th we decided to scope out Mr. Cooper, the beloved Social Studies teacher. Mr. Cooper has been a teacher at Tucker High since 2005 and has some very interesting takes on school spirit. Cooper attended high school from 1989 to 1993 and graduated at the age of 17. We asked Mr. Cooper about his dedication and participation in school spirit and to say he was involved would be an understatement. Cooper was extremely invested in school activities and was in almost every club. Because of these decisions, he was involved with many different friend groups, which may have affected his decision to attend school functions. Mr. Cooper expressed his concern with our dramatic shift of interest in the very foundation of Tucker, our school spirit. Cooper recalls his adolescence in which students formed tight-knit bonds in an involved community. Mr. Cooper states, “It’s all about feeling like a school family. It’s an important part of the [high school] experience to feel a sense of involvement.”. The beloved teacher also stresses how important it is to attend every year’s homecoming. He additionally communicated how this generation’s mindset has been changed, partially due to the increase in technological activities. Overall, Mr. Cooper simply wants students to enjoy their youth and become more connected to their peers and to Tucker as a whole.

Our next interviewee was Junior and previous recipient of the Homecoming Crown, Anthony Hernandez-Cruz. In his three years at Tucker, Anthony has only attended the homecoming dance once in his sophomore year and according to him, he doesn’t plan on returning to the dance floor anytime soon. Despite winning the nomination for Homecoming Court in 2021, Hernandez-Cruz told us that he won’t be attending this year’s dance due to lack of interest. Not only did he mention feeling bored at last year’s dance, but he also mentioned his fear of being alone there. School functions are, above all else, places to socialize with our peers. Anthony stated the school’s lack of spirit as the main culprit for this year's projected low attendance rate. In fact, Hernandez-Cruz wasn’t even aware of the theme or the date when asked. Students at our school feel disconnected, one could say, from homecoming and Tucker as a whole. “No one really cares enough to talk about it, so no one really cares enough to go.”

In other words, even despite the near three decade age difference, and clearly opposing thoughts on this classic dance, both of our interviewees bring up the same, surprisingly relevant, point: Our generation is lacking in school spirit. This factor is essential to making events like this year’s homecoming game and dance truly memorable. Students from across the board informed us that they really didn’t have any idea what homecoming is and how it relates to our school, so in order to make the most of an old-fashioned, “boring” school dance we must learn to make the most of our community and our spirit.