Are homecoming dances the next casualty of COVID-19?

Posted at 8:14 AM, Sep 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-23 10:43:09-04

It’s considered a rite of passage for high schoolers across the nation. But now COVID-19 is causing districts to cancel homecoming dances.

Every district reporter Darren Cunningham spoke with says they’re canceling the dance and future plans are up in the air.

Troy High School’s homecoming football game is this Friday. But, again, no dance. Instead, students opted to wait until the time is right.

“And one of the things that the kids have told me and expressed to us is if we’re going to do something we want to do it right," said adviser Meghan Riddock. "We don’t want it to be a band-aid event.”

It’s one of a handful of events high school students look forward to at every grade level – Homecoming.

Troy High School chose to say this year’s dance is postponed, not canceled, a clear distinction between the fun being delayed and not denied because of COVID-19.

“I’d say all of the high schoolers were initially pretty upset about the fact that we would not have a homecoming right now," said student Sejal Patil. "And after hearing it got postponed, I think everyone was just happy to hear that we can have it safely. So we’re not putting any of our fellow classmates and our staff members at risk.”

“I think it’s important for us to realize that if we just wait it out right now, think about how it’s gonna be later in the year," said Aalia Arhed, another high school student.

These student government leaders and their advisers say homecoming may happen in the spring. In the meantime, they’re passing out spirit packs.

“Everybody’s getting their class shirt and their blackout shirt that we always get," said student Alex Matthews. "So we can keep our unity and our spirit there. But then everybody’s getting a charcoal-themed mask to fit the situation.”

And students are still running for homecoming court.

“A lot of students are really excited. They’re advertising themselves so it’s really keeping that sense of familiarity with homecoming," said Ashley Sheko, a Troy high school student.

”If it was a normal senior year yeah that would be great having all of the events but because of this pandemic, one really good thing that came out of it was that we’re all going to be so much closer and I think even after high school when we go to college, we'll still keep in touch because we’ve all kind of been like connected by this major thing," said student Ahimsa Sathyakumar.