Oct 14, 2013 7:49 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck
Students at a school in New Iberia are facing disappointment during their homecoming week. Each day, the week of October 14-18, at Westgate High School, students were supposed to dress up as something different. For example, Monday was scheduled to be "Medieval Monday." However, that's been canceled.
School administrators say the reason is because of poor academic performance and behavior issues. School leaders say they hope canceling dress-up days will serve as motivation for students to improve in the classroom and how they conduct themselves.
However, some students and parents disagree. They say it's wrong to penalize the whole school during homecoming week, when many students are doing the right thing.
"It's sad because people have spent a lot of money on costumes and stuff for the dress up days, and they don't get to wear it and they spent all that money," Westgate student Max Ellzey said.
"When it was announced, a lot of the costumes had already been purchased. So, you have the financial aspect of it. And, I think it was the Friday before Homecoming week when it was announced. I just think good students are being punished for actions of a few," Westgate parent Bob Ellzey said.
Principal Neely Moore was unavailable for an on-camera interview, but says the decision to cancel dress-up days was meant to be motivation for students to improve in the classroom and their behavior, and not to punish students. She also says, students had previously been warned there would be consequences if their academic performance and behavior didn't improve.
"I think our principal is just doing her job. I mean, our students are failing. They're having failing grades. But her taking away the dress-up day is just showing us we have to work for it," Westgate Student Sierra Derouen said.
"If she feels she needs to take that away as a privilege, she may give it back later when they achieve the scores. So Westgate, let's pull it up and do your job and let's get those scores," Westgate parent Jody Derouen said.
The school administrators say if student performance and behavior improve, it's possible that dress-up days can still take place. Aside from dress up days, all other homecoming activities will continue, including the dance, the parade, and pep rally.