When they returned from summer vacation Wednesday, August 17, Manual students were dismayed to hear that the traditional Red/White Week powder puff game between the juniors and seniors had been cancelled.
On Tuesday morning, however, students were happy to hear that the district had rescinded its earlier decision.
Administrators told students that the game was originally revoked due to JCPS officials’ concerns over liability and insurance fees from some players’ injuries last year. Ms. Laura Spiegelhalter, head of Executive Council, which organizes Red/White Week, explained, “There were some lawsuits from liability across the district for various activities, not necessarily just powderpuff. Because of that, the school board members decided to look at a new policy to see what to allow and what not to allow. On the list of things they decided not to allow, powderpuff was one of those.”
Eventually, however, administrators changed their minds: “Because of feedback this past Monday at the board meeting, the board rediscussed the powderpuff issue. So there’s still a lot of things they’re not allowing, but … they decided to allow powderpuff.”
Spiegelhalter said that the neither the pep rally nor Ramstock would be cancelled, although there is a possibility that some smaller-scale events like dizzy bat races and bounce houses might be. Echoing Spiegelhalter, Michael Brown (12), vice president of Executive Council, said,“Almost everything you see for the pep rally was cancelled.”
Before finding out that the game had been reinstated, some Manual students were planning to take matters into their own hands. Micah Walker (12) made plans with friends to form an unofficial powderpuff league. “We were thinking if we started our own independent club … we thought we could get a lot of girls involved, and then basically all we would have to do is find a place to practice and a place to have the game,” Walker said. “We were thinking maybe calling up some parks or things like that so we could get it together.”
Since the powderpuff game has been reinstated, Manual students look forward to participating. When Walker found out, she says, “I literally was the only person in my homeroom that actually yelled.”
Additional reporting by Renee Groulx