Social Question

jca's avatar

What would you do if a school administrator decided that a previous tradition was no longer going to be allowed?

Asked by jca (35989points) September 23rd, 2017

This is not my child’s school but I’m wondering about the issue.

A local school parents’ group on FB is discussing how there is usually a tailgate party at the football game (which is tonight). The school principal has decided it’s no longer going to be allowed.

I don’t know why as it’s not our school.

Some parents are saying why not just do the tailgate party anyway. They’re saying what’s going to happen? Are the cops going to be called because the parents are tailgating? Others are saying the kids should organize a friendly protest. Another person said what kind of lesson is it teaching the kids if the school administrator says no and the parents just go ahead and do it anyway. She said even if the parents don’t think the administration’s decision is right, that doesn’t mean they should break the rule.

What do you think?

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54 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I would run for trustee or super-intendant and fire the principal if she/he doesn’t reinstate tailgate parties.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I think that without an explanation from the principal, l’m unable to form an opinion.

canidmajor's avatar

I think “why” is important. Some parents may have been giving kids access to alcohol, there may have been huge messes made that put an extra burden on the custodial staff, there are all sorts of possibilities.

Carrying on about tailgate parties strikes me as silly and petty, when there are undoubtedly many more serious issues that should be addressed.

ragingloli's avatar

What is a tailgate party?

chyna's avatar

I too, would have to know the reason. If drinking and acting wild and crazy is going on, it’s not the place at middle school or high school To me, this is a college football thing.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@chyna @canidmajor @stanleybmanly Good answers . I would like to know the reason too before firing anyone .

chyna's avatar

Oh and I agree with the person saying “what are you teaching the kids by defying the rules?”

Muad_Dib's avatar

I agree with teaching kids not to blindly follow authority.

So, given more time, I’d demand a thorough explanation for the rule change, and make my decision as to whether to carry on the tradition based on that.

janbb's avatar

@ragingloli A tailgate party is a party before a sports game or concert. Usually in the parking lot, originally with the food and drink on the open backs – “tailgates” – of station wagons.

johnpowell's avatar

At least they aren’t banning football so your kids can still get scrambled eggs for brains for your entertainment.

Zaku's avatar

That happened at our school with our traditional day where the senior class does an surprise prank after hours and skips the next day without warning. “Not allowed this year.” We did it anyway.

ragingloli's avatar

The school should not encourage or facilitate delinquency and criminal behaviour in pupils.
There would be tremendous amounts of littering.
Not to mention inevitable underage drinking, resulting in unreported assaults, sexual assaults and general hooliganism.
So of course it should not be allowed.
In fact, anyone participating in it in violation of the order, should be expelled without warning.
Ordnung muss sein!

JLeslie's avatar

If I go ahead and think the worst, I assume it was prohibited, because people were drinking, acting disorderly, littering, ruining the grass (if they were parking in a grass field) or getting in trouble in some way. If any of all of those things were happening I can see wanting to not provide a venue for it.

Possibly, nothing bad was going on, but it’s some sort of liability for the school.

I think the parents should find out why, if they don’t already know. If the complaint is alcohol, then the parents just need to agree not to drink. If it’s more about an insurance problem of some sort then that is another issue altogether.

I would not want my kids to go straight to protesting! Gawd, what happened to trying to talk to people first?

ragingloli's avatar

I find it funny that people advocate encouraging children to ignore rules they do not like, and then are shocked that they are unruly and bring mobile phones into the class room.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I agree that we have to know the principal’s reasoning, but as long as the kids aren’t drinking, why not let them tailgate?
I don’t think there is anything wrong with a legal, peaceful protest, but if the principal says “No, and that’s my final answer,” then the parents have to say, “Sorry kid. You have to do what the principal says, even if you disagree with it.”
I do not think the adult should be in on any kind of protest, though. They’re way too involved in their children’s stuff as it is, while not involved enough in important areas.

Man, we had our 40th reunion in the high school parking lot of the school we graduated from. It was off to the side during a football game. I felt so weird out there, drinking beer! I kept looking over my shoulder for the principal!

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t think anyone should be drinking alcohol on school property, adult or kid.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well wasn’t up to you @JLeslie.

JLeslie's avatar

No, it wasn’t up to me, but I’m just saying regarding the Q if the reason the tailgating was cancelled was because adults are drinking alcohol, I’m in agreement there shouldn’t be any alcohol.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I would hate to have my parents at a tailgate party for me and my friends.
Maybe I’m not understanding the question. Is the party for the adults or the kids?

JLeslie's avatar

Ohhhh, maybe it is just the kids at the tailgating? I was assuming it’s adults and kids, but I could be completely wrong about that.

Muad_Dib's avatar

I was assuming it was something for the adults to do other than watch a bunch of kids play a boring game.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yeah I assumed just vkids with school supervision.

I cnn not think of a single reason for the adults to have a tailgate party before high school football
You would assume the parents are there to watch their kids play @Muad_Dib. If they think it’s boring what are they even doing there?

Muad_Dib's avatar

It may surprise you to learn that many parents love their children dearly and want to support them, but they don’t worship the literal ground they walk on.

I can think of thousands of things I’d rather do than watch a high school football game. The kid is there to play, I’ve probably gotta drive him there and back anyway, might as well enjoy some tailgate burgers with the other parents while we wait.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It doesn’t surprise me that some don’t. That’s fine. But they can have the kids find their own way to the game. Many of of the kids can drive themselves.

I would be mortified if my parents were partying in the parking lot like kids, where all my friends could see them. Especially if they’re getting drunk and loud.

So is the party for the kids or parents?

JLeslie's avatar

I rarely went to my high school football games, so I don’t remember if there were lots of parents there or not. I did watch the show Friday Night Lights, and lots of parents came out for those games. Lol. I also attended a football game to watch my friend’s son in the marching band at a football game, and plenty of parents were there. Some parts of the country the parents are very into the high school games from what I can tell. I don’t think I saw people tailgating at any of the high schools I’ve personally been to, but I might have been oblivious to it.

When I went tailgating a few times in college I was shocked at the turnout. Not with my car, but the parents of friends of mine coming in to see a game. It was college, so it’s much different, but the amount of food, drink, and being out there for hours, I had never seen anything like it. Anyway, that’s where I get my stereotype of tailgating from.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Many parents are very interested in their kid’s sports. I would be if my kids were in sports. Id be there to cheer them on and sympathise if they lost. I wouldn’t lose my mind tho.

My folks came to a few of my volleyball games. I was very aware when they came and I was tickled.

I just wish some parents were as passionate about their kid’s education.

So the party is for the parents? That changes my answer completely.

jca's avatar

I just re-read the post to answer this accurately and I see they’re referring to it as “the traditional senior tailgate.” I’d thought it was for parents and kids but I guess it’s the seniors, before the one game (last night, not sure the significance of the game. Opening game?).

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ok my answer stands. No they should not do it anyway and shame on any parent who says they should.

Without knowing the principal’s reasoning and just assuming he’s being an ass then yes the kids should protest peacefully. The parents need to stay out of it.

JLeslie's avatar

Why assume he’s an ass? Why not have the class President find out why first? See if there is a diplomatic solution to working it out before the protesting.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@JLeslie Because we have no evidence assuming otherwise. How about you have the class President found out why.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
ragingloli's avatar

Because guilty until proven innocent is such a great rule to live by.

JLeslie's avatar

Who is guilty? The kids or the principal?

Dutchess_III's avatar

We don’t know the reason the principal said it. They may already be guilty. If the parents who are advocating “do it anyway” are the examples set for them, they probably are.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It is possible to predict the effects and consequences of the principal’s decision, but lacking an explanation as to “why” renders the question “what would you do….?” pointless to me.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Exactly @stanleybmanly. Perhaps @jca could send the link to those of us on Facebook?

jca's avatar

I would gladly send you the link to the group but it’s a closed group. I could also copy and paste the discussion but it’s a long one. If you want me to do that, I will.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes please do. Or go through and see if you can find the reason why he is cancelling it.

Toomanyprobs's avatar

I don’t think I've ever been to a tailgate where people were having a good ole sober fun time. Unless it's like some church football game. Who knows?

But a tailgate is literally a party. It makes sense that eventually people will get rowdy and mess it up.

Near my town, there was place in the woods where people would party. It was really fun until littering and other destructive things happened.

Dutchess_III's avatar

These are high school kid IN the parking lot of the school, @Toomanyprobs. I assume it would be monitored like any other event the school hosts, and alcohol would not be allowed, under any circumstances to these minor children.

@jca I don’t think they’re going to let me in! Copy and paste the thread to a Word doc and send it to me in Facebook messaging. I’ll upload it and go through it for you.

Dutchess_III's avatar

OK, JCA sent me the post. I cleaned it up and disguised names. She said I could share it here. I would like to note that it is supervised so there wouldn’t be any drinking and smoking and fun stuff like that.


OP Can someone tell me why is it that the traditional senior tailgate before tonight’s game has been cancelled by the principal? She said it was not approved! IT’S A TRADITION!!! She seems to think all things like this don’t matter but, these kids have been looking forward to these “Perks” since they were freshman. What’s next????They are slowly killing this community feeling one thing at a time!!!! It’s a shame when you care more about what the state thinks of your district than the parents and the kids!! I have a senior this year and have 2 more coming up behind her and I am starting to think I might be done!!!!

PMB Tell the kids to show up anyway. Maybe they should organize a peaceful protest in the form of a tailgate. Let administrators know they cant destroy their school spirit.

KL It was too late for tonight’s game, but I asked my son what would happen if the parents “just decided” to show up and have a tailgate? You know, with their kids.

DB I understand being upset that they didnt allow this BUT I also think going ahead and having it anyway is not teaching our children right from wrong. A Administrator said no…....right or wrong they said no and now you are going to have your children say…........I dont care what you say we are doing it anyway. There are other ways to do things not teach children it doesnt matter what people say.

KL Here my issue as a parent of a senior. The administration wants the students to be “critical thinkers” who are “prepared” for the world of tomorrow. But for some unknown reason (as a parent I did not receive a notice about this change), we can’t trust the kids to have a tailgate on school property? I would much rather they are there for school spirit and supervision than pre-gaming somewhere else.

DB and I agree with you. I do not agree with them stopping it at all….....unless there have been major issues in the past. WHICH I have not heard of any. But telling kids to go and do it anyway? what is that teaching a kid?
LOTS of changes coming and I hate them all but it is what most schools are doing now. If you dont like it you must change it but not by going against the rules.

DB I understand they work for us. We need to teach our children there is a right and wrong way to do things and when a person of authority says NO and you dont agree you do not do it anyway… question. you try to make change other ways. you do not say…........HA I am doing it anyway. This is why no one has any respect for anyone any more.

KL My comment was not so much about disobedience as it was a protest of sorts. I was not suggesting the kids tailgate in spite of the ban, but if they were there WITH their parents (meaning supervised) they and us as taxpayers MIGHT get some answers-and let the powers to be know we as parents are paying attention to these various edicts that are being handed down from on high

DC It worries me that I hear nothing but bad things about the present Administrator, previous incumbents seem to have managed to do the job properly without upsetting the community who pay their wages. Why is this one so keen to break everything and are the board and the parents just going to let her do it?

RPAQ My senior was upset with the fact that new principal had the nerve to hang out at the Bear’s Den after what she has done. She felt like she was mocking the students with her presence. My daughter is upset on how tonight really sucked and the bear den was not full like it should be. ‘Killing the School Spirit’ school should be like a second home to our kids.

RC Maybe someone should go to school board meeting and ask the board what the reason was? Talking on Facebook does not solve issues.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Some of those parents are really out there.

“Tell them to do it any way!”

“No. That’s not how you teach your children to respect authority. That teaches them to be disobedient.”

“I wasn’t exactly thinking of disobedience, just as a protest.”

WTF? OK, so you tell your child not to sit in the mud puddle because he has his church clothes on, and he goes and sits in the mud puddle and says, “I’m not being disobedient. I’m protesting,” would the parent go “Oh! OK! That’s fine then!”

Muad_Dib's avatar


Seriously though, it sounds like the new principal is a massive buzzkill, and these seniors (who have, I assume, waited 3 years for their turn to host the tailgate) are feeling like they’ve had the rug pulled from under them.

Muad_Dib's avatar

And, high school football season is only a few weeks long… it’s not like they have a TON of time to wait for the school board to “approve” something that is literally just people in the school parking lot drinking soda and sharing hot dogs.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Muad_Dib Yeah, I had to come up with one good reason not to sit in that mud puddle because I feel the exact same way! You’ve seen the pictures of my daycare! “Church clothes” was the shortest and easiest way to come up with a reason.

With all the complaints I’m seeing there it sounds like the new principal is just being a dick. I wonder what that was about the “Bear Den,” though.

Muad_Dib's avatar

In my high school the seniors had a special lunch room all to themselves. We just called it the Senior Lounge, but it sounds like the “Bear Den” might be something similar

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh! Well ain’t you something! You know, I can’t even remember if my high school had a cafeteria or not. I never ate there in high school. We had a place we could hang out in at lunch that had vending machines and I’d get corn nuts or ice cream sandwiches for lunch and just hang out. I think we called it the student union but I’m not sure. I know K State had a student union.

Brian1946's avatar

I did a text search for <reason> and <tailgat>, and the latest thing I found was the last entry from the Facebook post: “Maybe someone should go to school board meeting and ask the board what the reason was?”

Hopefully the Update Lady will be able to update us after the board meeting.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Why did you do a text search? (And you don’t need the <> to do a text search.)

jca's avatar

@Brian1946: It’s not my daughter’s school district but I am going to make some inquiries and see if anybody looked into it with the principal.

Brian1946's avatar


I did a text search, because I was specifically looking to see if a reason why they were going to disallow tailgating had been posted, without having to read the unrelated surrounding text.

I was only using the <>‘s to punctuate the search terms in my previous post. What I actually entered into the F3 search box, was the text between the pointy things.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You can also bring up a search option by keying Ctrl F. I read the entire thing, and so did others. There was no reason given. Someone in that original post said there hadn’t been any previous problems as far as they knew.

jca's avatar

Right – that’s what I got from the thread, too. There were no previous issues (drunkenness, etc.) so the parents didn’t see why the Principal was doing it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I hope they come to a conclusion and post it. I’m curious.

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