Students rush Addison and Western after pep rally

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By Karen Baena & Safiya Merchant

After Lane’s annual pep rally on Oct. 2, chaos broke out when a group of seniors and juniors “rushed” onto Addison blocking traffic.

Mob mentality took over as several students joined in what they saw as a unified display of school and class pride.

“As I was walking from McDonald’s I saw the mob and I told my friend ‘Let’s go’ because we saw WGN. We started running and screaming. Isn’t the whole point of pep rally to show our pride in being Lane students?” said Dijovani Velasquez, Div. 024.

“We’re the biggest, best school…the school of champions. We should have Western and Addison closed so we can have a parade. I would have loved to be up on WGN,” said Ishaly Guadalupe, Div. 045.

Abel Jimenez, Div. 169, claimed that the riot was a result of poor planning of this year’s pep rally.

“I blame the administration. They messed up by making it 8th period. If it was 2nd and 3rd, the students would have to go back into the school,” said Jimenez.

This is exactly what the administration was trying to avoid, however, as loud and unruly students returning into the building caused problems in recent years.

Not all students believed that rushing the streets was a good idea. Many saw it as a dangerous display of school spirit.

“My initial reaction was shock. All I could think of was how dangerous this was and the possibility of someone getting hurt or killed,” said Ewa Sarota-Raczek, Div. 039.

“It was complete and utter chaos,” said Jessica Smith, a class of ‘08 alum who witnessed the riot. “It’s really stupid of them [Lane students] to do that. At least when the class of ‘07 had their riot, it was on school property. What the class of ‘10 did was dangerous and very illegal.”

According to Samuel Aguirre, Div. 049, the decision to rush the streets was particularly irresponsible because the administration made many efforts to warn students to be on their best behavior.

“I think the administration trusted us and we let them down,” he said.

To many faculty and police officers, some of the students did, indeed, let them down.

“I expected more. We worked really hard to make it a fun week for everybody,” said Ms. Rice, Assistant Principal. “It’s disappointing that it [the school’s efforts] wasn’t enough. We have a reputation of being better than any other school. I would say, overall, a large majority of our kids are better than that [to riot]. People [drove] by and [thought] that our kids are out of control, but that’s not accurate of our entire student body.”

“Students mentioned that it was the senior prank. That prank could’ve hurt or even killed someone. Someone could have been trampled because of their actions,” said English teacher Mrs. Gholston.

“I see things like this all the time but I didn’t expect it of Lane students,” said Officer Howard of District 19. “I thought they were more intelligent. It’s okay to celebrate, but not to act like animals.”

Although many believed that some senior activities would be canceled after the riot, no ‘class-wide’ punishment was given by the administration.

“When I was in high school [at Benet Academy], we had a pep rally and three students ran across the street and were killed,” said Mr. Jarka, Dean of Students. “I will say that 99 percent of the students were very well-behaved throughout the day. Teenagers are going to make mistakes and if you don’t allow them to learn from them, what are you going teach?”

“We had good students that made bad decisions,” said Gholston. “Everyone is not responsible for what happened that day, it’s hard to determine who deserves the punishment.”

Nevertheless, many seniors and juniors admit that, if given the chance, they would like to riot again or participate in one next year.

“I would participate [if something were done next year] because it’s a rite of passage,” said Nicki Searl, Div. 161.

“I’d definitely do it again. No doubt about it,” said Niya Idowu, Div. 054.

Despite the opposing opinions on this year’s ‘Lane Riot,’ many students agree that it will not be forgotten.

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