Throughout brunch and lunch, Paly is on lockdown. The administration is on high alert as students frantically wait for a risk-taking senior to run through the quad with no clothing. At Paly, this time-honored tradition is called Streak Week.
An average day during Streak Week looks like this: Principal Phil Winston is on the senior deck chatting with some seniors in hopes to find out the probability of having streakers and, if there are any, their whereabouts. Like Navy SEALs, the Paly staff is wired up with telecommunication walkie-talkies. Campus supervisor Reese Scott, who rides his bike around campus, constantly assessing the scene. Out of the blue, campus supervisor Ernesto Cruz pops up on his bicycle and plays it cool, but still keeps an eye out for any streakers. And finally, Assistant Principal Jerry Berkson readily looks for any perpetrators, preparing to apprehend them on a golf cart.
Unfortunately, this tactical strategy fails to work and can be quite controversial for the administration. The administration does in fact have a duty to consequence students who attempt and are caught streaking; however, the administration does also have a duty to keep students from getting rescinded to the college of their choice. My suggestion to the administration: stand down, and get the terrible streakers later. First of all, running after streakers is not that good for public relations. The administration would be uneasy if Palo Alto Online wrote an article titled: “Administration runs after streakers in attempt to suspend them.”
It is common knowledge that second-semester seniors are going to make some trouble at Paly. They are almost done with their high school career and want to have fun, despite the possibility of serious consequences. Although Winston’s email about how parents should talk to their kids about streaking or senior class pranks and its consequences was benevolent, streakers aren’t going to stop streaking. Traditions are traditions Winston and Streak Week will never stop.
Rather than trying to apprehend targets, the Paly staff should make a more clandestine approach to punishing the streakers that terrorize Paly. They should, like Winston, be on the senior deck, overhearing all of the senior chatter. This way, when a faculty member hears of a possible streaking attempt, the staff can just send Scott or Cruz to pull them out of class and give them the suspension that they probably don’t deserve.
I know how hard it is for Paly staff to see little, naked teenagers run through school, but it only runs for about two weeks. Try a more secretive approach next year and maybe reassess your position on the issue. Students should not be rescinded from college just because they streaked during their final weeks at Paly. The administration should address this concern differently and maybe have a more under-the-table approach to enforcing any consequences.