Kennedy Hoco: What Comes Next?


Jami Martin-Trainor

The lighting fixture at the Czech Museum, where the 2019 prom was held.

The 2019 Kennedy Homecoming dance left students with much to be desired. With the lights left on and the music requests largely ignored, students are left with one pressing question: What comes next?

Last week Jason Kline, principal at Kennedy, held a meeting with student government to discuss the tradition of homecoming and the latest Kennedy dance. At the meeting, ideas were posed to come up with a compromise, but no answer was found where all parties were satisfied.

“The overhead lighting was good enough to let me see things that were going on and I don’t want to change that,” said Kline.

Many students wondered what future dances at Kennedy had in store regarding lighting. Although the outlook for prom was unclear, Kline said with certainty that the lights would remain on for WPA. 

“The reality is that it was plenty dark and nothing was preventing people from dancing because those four lights were on. I understand people don’t like it, but nothing was stopping the dance from happening,” said Kline.

Although posed with new ideas for lighting solutions, Kline refused to change his decision regarding the four overhead safety lights being on.

“I think the students would still like to come up with a compromise, which they’ve talked about, but even with suggestions, Mr. Kline seemed reluctant to consider those options,” said Joseph Benedict, student government adviser. 

Student government members mentioned house parties becoming a replacement for Homecoming if circumstances continue. Kline was persistent on the fact that the school is not responsible for what students do on their own time. The lights being on was a decision made based on liability and safety.

“My goal and my job is not to make sure people make good decisions outside of the school. In terms of being safe, I am responsible for what happens here,” said Kline.

Student government felt their requests largely ignored by Kline. School dance popularity has a direct impact on the program, due to the large amounts of money they provide. If dance attendance is low, student government suffers, leaving them unable to distribute money throughout various clubs. 

“Students were frustrated, and they didn’t feel like there was a real open dialogue, and obviously there were frustrated by the lights, but I do think they agree that we have to keep safety and security in mind,” said Benedict.