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The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

Party buses now prohibited at homecoming

Students will not be allowed to arrive to homecoming in buses like this

Daisy Creager | Staff Writer

The official email sent to parents notifying them that party buses are not allowed at the dance.

School dances: a chance to get dressed up, go out to eat somewhere nice, and take a lot of pictures. But for some people the dance itself is only the after party, and the way they spend their night is about to change.

“[The party bus] gets you ready for the dance, it has good vibes,” senior Taylor Benavides said. “It’s just a fun way for all your friends to do something different than getting dropped off at a dance and getting picked up.”

In early October, principal John Mehlbrech sent an email to parents stating that while limos will still be an acceptable mode of transportation to the homecoming dance, party buses will not be accepted. Some students who were planning on going in large groups, such as Benavides, are upset.

“I think it takes away all the fun,” Benavides said. “I don’t see why they can control our transportation. It’s our money, it’s our plans, it’s our last homecoming as seniors. If they do this for prom, I don’t know what I’d do. I will not go to prom if they do this.”

According to Mehlbrech, the topic came up for discussion after an incident at prom last year when a group of students arrived in a party bus, intoxicated.   It was evident to the administration that something had to be done.

“Well, vehicles, obviously, is a decision made by every campus as to whether or not to allow them to be used,” Mehlbrech said. “I want this to be a dance that we’ve always done in the past. The party buses are a new thing. Our experience with it has not been positive, so let’s just not allow it. Let’s enjoy what it is suppose to be.”

To some students, this reasoning does not seem enough for taking away the privileges of the whole school.

“I mean, we just don’t get why everyone is getting punished for last year’s incident,” senior Sara Bitar said. “It’s not everyone’s fault. We don’t know if we want to go anymore.”

But for Mehlbrech, the decision had more to it that one group at a dance last year. It is about protecting Johnson students.

“The temptation [for students] to do things they normally wouldn’t do is greater, because you’re allowed to put that many more people on the bus, and in some cases people don’t know the other people who come on that bus,” Mehlbrech said. “It could be a date from outside, it could be people from different places who got invited in. All it takes is for one of them to bring anything that could get them all in trouble and suddenly everyone there is responsible.”

Mehlbrech compared it to being at a house party with alcohol and having the cops show up.

“Officers aren’t going to ask whether you took any or not, they are just going to give you a ticket for possession,” Mehlbrech said. “On party buses there might be incidences where kids don’t know there is alcohol on there but there is but it doesn’t matter because they were there.”

According to Mehlbrech, students who decide to arrive to the homecoming dance in a party bus despite the rules will not be allowed inside, and will be asked to go home.

“That is open defiance,” Mehlbrech said. “I don’t want to play the game-that’s the last thing I want to do. [The student] will lose because they are the one’s that won’t be able to attend. The parents will come up the next day and argue and squawk and whatever, but they’ve already missed the dance. I don’t really want this to become a contest of wills.”

Mehlbrech also said that there is a high probability of the rule being in place for this year’s Prom as well.

“Prom is an even greater concern because of what the mannerism of what prom is,” Mehlbrech said. “There is a lot of going out, getting together, having some fun first, going to dinner. That’s where you get a lot of outside people coming on as guests and having 20 to 30 on a bus adds to that temptation.”

The new rule has affected some students decisions to attend the dance.

“We’re probably not attending the dance anymore,” Sara Bitar said. “Most of us just wanted to be on the party bus anyway. We thought about going to the beach or just out to dinner.”

However, some students are grateful for the rule.

“I think it’s great-I’ve never liked those part buses,” senior Zachary Winterroad said. “They have like stripperpoles and stuff on them, why would you want to be around that? I don’t see the big deal. It’s not worth the money and most likely getting in trouble for something. Just drive yourself.”

Although party buses are prohibited, that doesn’t mean students cannot arrive in style.

“I understand wanting to get together and go as a group-I’m cool with that-just find a different means of doing it,” Mehlbrech said. “The humvees and limos are fine. You can still fit a lot of kids in there, but it is better managed than the party buses. [Party buses] are just not a good situation and I want the kids to be able to enjoy themselves, have a great evening, and hopefully be smart and do the right thing.”

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Party buses now prohibited at homecoming