ARHS cancels Senior Ball in response to “hooligan behavior”

Today, Algonquin Principal Tom Mead announced the cancellation of class of 2015’s senior ball.

The letter began on a positive note, referring to students’ model behavior in front of a visiting congressman yesterday. It then takes a jarring turn with descriptions of “hooligan behavior” on Wednesday.

According to the announcement, many seniors were:

out of control, profane, and grossly disrespectful. Against clear directions prohibiting certain actions and materials, they brought shaving cream, airhorns, and other contraband into school and used this to intimidate and humiliate numerous students and staff.

The statement positions the cancellation of the party as a preventative measure, rather than punitive:

I am not confident that we can stage this event without a repeat of some of the behaviors seen on Wednesday, and I do not have an adequate volunteer staff to monitor and chaperone the students.

Mead also plans to cancel the “senior march” in future years to avoid similar incidents. The incident seems to have centered around the march (aka senior parade).  The school’s newspaper tweeted pics of the parade Wednesday morning, already showing one student with a shaving cream can and a few who appeared to have been slightly sprayed.

Later that afternoon, came this tweet [Editor’s Note: Some commenters have clarified that the below tweet is of a sanctioned tradition for an outdoor shaving cream fight after school. The indoor incident during the morning’s senior march was unrelated:

Here is Mead’s full announcement: 

May 29, 2015

Dear Parents and Guardians of Algonquin,

Yesterday, Representative James McGovern visited Algonquin. Responding to the invitation of a member of the Class of 2015, the Congressman toured the Serenity Garden and listened to the words of numerous students as they described the vegetable, floral, and herbal plantings of this growing natural classroom. Later, Rep. McGovern viewed the incredible art exhibits in our Gallery near the Rotunda, again accompanied by many students who described their work, and art.

I am proud of our students and staff because both stops by the Congressman were to shining examples of the remarkable work and development of so many students – seniors through freshmen.

Yesterday stands in stark contrast to the day before. That is, the behavior of many members of the Class of 2015 on Wednesday, their last day of classes. At a moment in their lives when they should be thankful, courteous, and respectful, too many were out of control, profane, and grossly disrespectful. Against clear directions prohibiting certain actions and materials, they brought shaving cream, airhorns, and other contraband into school and used this to intimidate and humiliate numerous students and staff. These actions were incredibly disrupting and unsettling for the school community.

I hasten to point out that this hooligan behavior was not embraced by all members of the Class of 2015. I especially appreciate the help and support of many members of this class, including the Steering Committee and various student-athletes who worked quickly and effectively with the custodial staff to restore our cafeteria, hallways, and bathrooms to shipshape status within a half hour. Nevertheless, the following steps will be taken in light of the chaos of Wednesday and the prospects for the future.

  • The Senior Ball is cancelled this year. I am not confident that we can stage this event without a repeat of some of the behaviors seen on Wednesday, and I do not have an adequate volunteer staff to monitor and chaperone the students.
  • The Senior March will no longer be a part of the year-ending school sanctioned events.
  • We will work with the Class of 2016 to find alternative events and schedules that will provide our students with good opportunities to close out their four years of high school.

It is my hope that the Class of 2015 can mend fences with the faculty and staff who have taught, guided, and nurtured them for the past four years, and that they can reconcile with each other before they graduate and regain their unity and sense of community.

I deeply regret these actions, and I take responsibility for the behavior of our students. Over the past 24 hours I have taken time to reflect and consult with my fellow educators here at Algonquin. The school itself is resilient and optimistic, and that is good. In the end, we must never forget that we are here to teach, guide, and support all of our students, to work with families and providers in order to give our students and your children the opportunities they deserve to grow and develop into respectable and productive adults.

Tom

Updated (5/29/15 1:15 pm): Added in what I found on twitter.
Updated (5/31/15 10:45 pm): Inserted clarification by commenters that the sanctioned, outdoor afternoon shaving fight was unrelated to the indoor incident earlier in the day.

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Art Fay
7 years ago

Kudos to Principal Mead for meting out exactly the proper punishment in response to the actions of the spoiled brats of Algonquin. Undoubtedly as we speak Mr. Mead is being inundated with pleas/threats by their idiot parents. He should take it one step further and cancel the graduation as well and just mail them their diplomas. Cant wait to hear the discussion at the next School Committee meet- uhh- oops- I forgot there is no discussion at the School Committee meetings….

Garrett Speith
7 years ago
Reply to  Beth Melo

Yeah, I agree that it is pretty ridiculous to say such a blunt thing about Algonquin. The school is stellar for a public school, with many ivy league bound students in the senior grade. Unfortunately, some kids can ruin it for the majority. And even less fortunately, there are idiots like Art who both assume and label things illogically with no knowledge to base anything on. Many world issues come from such autistic trains of thought.

Lb
7 years ago
Reply to  Art Fay

Excuse me but I think you need all of the facts before you make the judgement of the kids and parents. Knowing a few of the kids from the senior class they are great people and far from the spoiled brats that you are claiming they are. They were just trying to have fun and many of them stayed after and helped clean up. Not all of the kids should be punished for the action of a few people who took it too far.

A student
7 years ago
Reply to  Art Fay

What has happened to you to make you so angry? Did some high schoolers come to your house and spray you with shaving cream? Way to generalize about everyone when the email specifically says it was the actions of a few “hooligans.” I agree with Beth thoroughly. I also want to request that you look at the accomplishments of Algonquin students, from academics to sports to community service. Finally, don’t make sweeping assumptions of something you know nothing about. Go take a walk and come back when you’re ready to discuss this like an adult.

Al Hamilton
7 years ago
Reply to  Art Fay

Art

Please remember that a few of these brats/holligans in a few months may be uniforms and be doing the dirty work of protecting us.

I am the father of a veteran who a few years ago walked out of Algonquin in protest and was called a Terrorist by the then principal.

I am the father of an active duty soldier who was arrested for protesting “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” who is serving as we speak.

Don’t tell me the next generation is spoiled. The kids are all right and have my respect.

Jennifer
7 years ago
Reply to  Art Fay

I would like to respond by saying that very few kids participated in throwing the shaving cream. Almost every student stayed after to help clean up. It is wrong for you to clump every student together into the brat category for the mistakes of a few kids. Please think before you speak so harshly on a situation you clearly know nothing about.

richard joseph
7 years ago
Reply to  Art Fay

I am part of the class that started this tradition back in 09 we where and way noisier and way bigger than the pictures here we actually had a guy bring in a danm didgeridoo. And we were met with thunderous applause from our Deen of students Mel Leighton. It started without your approval and it will continue without your approval.
But hey I get it you where made to look like an ass in front of your boss and you can’t have that. So yea why not give a blanket punishment to everyone for the actions of a select few.

southboroughresident
7 years ago
Reply to  richard joseph

First, Mel’s name is Lawton. Shows the “quality” of some (some) of the kids Algonquin releases into the wild. Second, this has always been an outdoor “activity.” They crossed the line by bringing it inside and involving humiliation, property damage, and the like.

Resident
7 years ago

Actually, Mel’s name is Laughton not Lawton. Before you criticize, know what you are talking about.

Student
7 years ago

It amazes me that you think you know so much about the situation when both of your points were incorrect.
First, it’s Laughton. Not Leighton OR Lawton. That shows the “quality” of some supposedly educated adults released into the “wild”, huh?
Second, it has not always been an outdoor activity. There are two separate events: the march INSIDE and the shaving cream fight OUTSIDE.
Thank you for your attempt at contributing to this post.

John
7 years ago
Reply to  Art Fay

Kudos to you Art. Glad there’s a person out there with the moral fortitude to speak out against those ‘spoiled brats’ of Algonquin. And what better forum than the comment section of mysouthborough.com ? Hit them where it hurts. And why stop at graduation Art? Why not close the school? Shut the whole system down and cut them off all together. That will teach those pretentious parents a real lesson. Now their kids will have to grow up with no high school education, much like yourself. They won’t be so entitled after that, will they? Truthfully, how do you not respond in this manner when hooligans riot on school property? Malicious air horns and shaving cream. Loud noises and the possibility of itchy/irritated eyes. Might as well be firearms and knives. And did you see those pictures? Students and teachers alike cowering in fear from the unruly mob. Looked like a scene out of Lord of the Flys. In reality, Meade had no choice but to end the tradition, cancel the dance. No chance he could have talked it out to come up with a rational response. Because, as Art pointed out so eloquently, God knows there’s no discourse at school committee meetings. So, no more dancing, just like the Kevin Bacon movie. That will show those teens. Teach everyone a lesson.

southboroughresident
7 years ago
Reply to  John

John- if you read the story completely, including the update made the day after you posted your comment, “those pictures” were not from this year’s event. They’re from a previous year where the event was held outside in the parking lot. Even without the update, you can see the pictures are from an outdoor perspective with a lot of shaving cream on the ground, coolers (that held the water balloons) et cetera. That’s why you won’t see anyone afraid or “cowering” in them.

Sports Org
7 years ago
Reply to  Art Fay

Congrats to 3 Spoiled Brats Class of Algonquin 2011 who just Graduated from Harvard University this past Thursday.

Haven Jones (Phi Beta Kappa)
Leah Gaffney (Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude)
Glynis Healey

Doubtful their parents are idiots, more likely PROUD.

Kate
7 years ago

Unfortunately, every year, probably in every high school, there are senior pranks, many of which go too far (from my perspective). At Algonquin, last year’s, for example, included bringing goats and chickens into the building, which caused some issues and must have been traumatic for the animals. I also remember one incident a few years ago in which a student was concussed when a suspended trash can fell on her head.

I’m sure the students will accept the consequences – the year’s over. And it seems as though Mr. Mead is very serious about making sure that senior behavior is managed a little better in the future. I’m not sure why there is so much craziness involved in leaving high school, to be honest. Good luck to all graduates.

Frank Crowell
7 years ago

I am a parent of an Algonquin student. From what I heard, Mr Mead did the right thing.

Mr. Fay – I understood that you were not including all in your comment. I am not offended in the least and would probably have add a few words that would not get past Beth.

Former Algonquin student
7 years ago

As a former ARHS student, I find it ridiculous that students did this. I remember my senior week and while we all wanted to push the limit, many of us knew that it was out of the question to be disrespectful and destructive. They don’t deserve their senior ball and I hope their parents realize that. And yes… Most students at Algonquin ARE spoiled brats

Senior Parent
7 years ago

Former Algonquin Student, how many current Algonquin seniors do you even know? I know probably half the class and I do not think I would classify ANY of them as spoiled brats. Do some come from a high income bracket and have nice clothes and cars? Yes. But most of them also work at after school jobs, excel in school and are extremely respectful, friendly and kind. There are thousands of community service hours performed by these kids each year. Their stellar performance in school is what gives the district such a great reputation and contributes to the high property values in both towns.
Maybe YOUR Algonquin classmates were spoiled brats but, as I said…how many of these kids do you even know?

southboroughresident
7 years ago
Reply to  Senior Parent

Not spoiled. Entitled is probably more accurate.

Tom Marcoulier
7 years ago

When I read this my first thought was from a movie of my youth.

‘Lighten up Francis’ the movie Stripes

Frank Crowell
7 years ago
Reply to  Tom Marcoulier

I was thinking of a movie from my youth as well: “Animal House.” Maybe there’s a future US Senator in this class (John Belushi’s character).

Senior Parent
7 years ago

Wow Art Fay, glad you are not on a jury of MY peers. I have a senior who was extremely upset about the behavior of some of her classrooms. SHE was well behaved and SHE helped clean up and SHE is not a spoiled brat. And now she has to suffer the consequences of some of her classmates’ bad behavior.

And by the way, I am NOT an idiot.
Your statements sure make me feel that YOU fit that description extremely well.

PS Thank you Beth

Jonas
7 years ago

How rediculously short-sighted. Why is the entire class punished for the acts of a few meat heads? How many Cameras does Algonquin have? I recall them capturing the goat from a few years ago pretty well, and that was the exterior of the school. Can they itemize the offenders instead of a blanket cast? Instead of all the kids enjoying themselves in a fairly contained environment the kids will now have different options to celebrate. Use your heads as to what that may lead to. PC Police out in full force.

marc doyle
7 years ago

As a senior at algonquin I can say majority of my grade is mature and respectable. Art Fay, your comments are generalized and portray you as rude and uneducated. Although a minorty of seniors acted inappropriately most of us attempted to clean the school and repair damages after this incident. That fact that you would call us “spoiled” and say mr mead should “cancel graduation” on top of insult our ” idiot parents” shows you, art, should in no way represent out school in the school committee meetings or in any other official capacity

swh
7 years ago

L M A O

they’ve been doing this stuff for at least 6 years (the shaving cream fight etc.). the staff must’ve lost their thick skin.

as long as no one gets hurt let them do what they want. they’re excited. so what if one school day is lost to distraction? its practically summer anyways, students of all grade levels have already checked out.

Tom
7 years ago

Oh come on, if there was no property damage and no one was hurt then lets the kids be. We as a nation are becoming holier than thow. This is tradition and when I was a senior we did all kind of pranks at the school. I stand by the students.
What a shame and not for the kids behavior but for the wimpy whining of the parents and principal

Senior
7 years ago
Reply to  Tom

There was 3k in property damage. Security cameras, among other things, were broken.

Dan Frank
7 years ago

Not sure where to begin, but Mr. Fay (if that’s your actual name, and you actually live in Southborough or Northborough) seems to assume an awful lot about this situation. From what I understand there was a small group of students who sprayed shaving cream inside the school and damaged a security camera. It was cleaned up quickly. Mr. Mead is correct that you can’t have a Senior Party in the school after-hours, if there are students who don’t respect school property during school hours.

What is missing from this are the voices of the students who did the damage. Why don’t they use social media, or this site, for that matter, to take responsibility for their actions and apologize to their fellow students for such juvenile behavior.

Unfortunately Mr. Fay’s post exposes what’s wrong with posting online. There’s no reason to read this sort of rant. It doesn’t further discussion. It lowers the level of discourse and in the process demeans the useful work of this site.

Reags
7 years ago

I just want to say that the shaving cream fight after school is a senior tradition at the high school and has nothing to do with the decisions of Mr. Mead. It has been going on for many years and the school allowed it to happen in the past the issue is with actions during the school day so the tweet about the actions after school is completely used in the wrong content. It is being used to make the class look bad when in fact that part of the day was allowed by the school.

Senior
7 years ago
Reply to  Reags

Normally it’s done outside. This year it was done inside, leading to property damage.

southboroughresident
7 years ago
Reply to  Senior

The school; has not “allowed” it to happen. I was there last year when one of the under-principals tried to stop some of it and chased after some of the kids doing it. It’s just that it’s been too big for them to stop. What they should have done is blocked every exit from the parking lot and had the police arrest the offenders!

Former student
7 years ago

I personally think that this punishment reflects badly on administration. To take away a privilege for the disrespectful class, absolutely. If they cannot handle being in school, they cannot be trusted at another venue. However, as a principal, Tom is going to let the other students in Algonquin be punished? If there were other students who were intimidated and scared because of the class of 2015’s actions, why are the victims being punished? The senior march was by far my favorite memory. I chose not to participate in the shaving cream fight (although it was allowed by administration) but the senior march is an unbelievable experience and one of the few things I actually enjoyed doing at Algonquin. The administration has such a tight hold on every aspect of these kids lives inside and outside of school and taking away YET ANOTHER tradition because of silly string is petty and a clear show of power. Get off of your mighty high horse Algonquin Administration. The march is a tradition that senior classes have been doing for DECADES. Don’t ruin a tradition because you need to prove your power. That is pathetic.

class of 14 student
7 years ago

really algonquin, really?

I honestly do not know where to begin with this. I graduated last year and my favorite memory of senior year was the last day of school. But even then we were having trouble with the administration. Years ago seniors began the tradition of the “senior march.” This tradition has so wonderfully been carried out for years now. When it first started the seniors did not just march around the school, they marched from the center of northborough. Last year my class tried to resurrect this tradition, but were told by the admins that it was a) dangerous b) if we did it senior ball would be canceled and c) the police would take action.

This was the most ridiculous thing i had ever heard. Over the years algonquin has become tighter with rules, taken away dances, and in general has been dumbed down socially. It is to the point where people do not attend dances, and don’t even care if senior ball isn’t happening. Senior ball has increasingly gotten worse over the years. At first it was a full blown prom, then a formal senior ball, then a semi formal, then a casual one, and now this year is supposed to just be in the cafeteria. So when these seniors were threatened to lose this, they just didn’t care.

Students at this school work hard and obtain awesome grades, have great sports teams, and top the state wide list every year. Yes we do have some great teachers, but when it comes down to it, our school is who it is because of the awesome and high achieving students with in it.

So for me to hear Mr. Art Fay call my classmates and I spoiled brats is simply ignorant and childish. Yes we are blessed to be in an awesome school system, but we are the ones who spend 6 hours in school, 3 at after school sports, and then countless hours after that doing homework. Not to mention trying to hold a job as well.

What the real problem here is in fact, not the students, but the administration as a whole. It has changed dramatically, to the point where people cannot even do senior pranks in fear of not being able to walk at graduation. Im not saying the administration as a whole is horrible, I actually mr laughton and mr mead, I’m just saying that times have changed so incredibly much that people are so afraid of offending others that they do not allow kids to have fun. Im not saying what the seniors did was a good thing, I think trashing the school in any way is bad- my point is that people need to stop being sensitive to every single thing in life. People need to realize that if the biggest problem the town currently dealing with is some shaving cream, then you should recognize that the majority of Algonquin students are respectable, and be grateful the town isn’t dealing with actual problems, like other high schools around the country.

Tom
7 years ago

Well said,

MTFFD
7 years ago

yes, some students were not involved. But what I find disgusting and highly immature, is how almost all the students think that they don’t deserve these punishments and in all of what they did was completely fine. They are graduating high school, becoming young adults, some living away from home; “growing up”. But all this proved that they are not ready to move on, they can’t even tell what’s right from wrong, they shouldn’t be going to college or moving out, what what I’ve seen they should just go back to elementary school.
But thank god for some of those seniors who have their heads on straight, and know what they did wrong, accept the punishments or weren’t even involved at all.

Lisa S
7 years ago

I heard from my ARHS student that there were several other issues that were part of this prank but only vaguely alluded to in Mr. Mead’s email. There were anatomical drawings made in shaving cream in the school, and there was a photo-shopped image made with a pornographic body and the head of a student which was loaded into all the printers so that on the back side of anything printed that day was this pornographic image. I can certainly understand the upset that the school administration has.
While I do not condone the specific pranks of this class, I understand the need of some of this class to celebrate/blow off steam and sow their oats at this time of year. The only way they find out they stepped over the line is to actually step over the line, as was done in this case. Off the cuff comments made that are insulting generalizations made about the entire student body and their parents does nothing to help the situation. Was the behavior over the line? Yes. Were there consequences that were related to the infraction? Yes. Will some kids be upset at being included in consequences for something they did not participate in? Undoubtedly. Will that teach a lesson in speaking up when there is a plan for unacceptable behavior discussed amongst peers? We all hope so! Raising moral, intelligent and caring kids in this society is a really difficult job and we are all trying to do the best we can. Please don’t leap to conclusions about ALL the ARHS students and ALL their parents based on the actions of a few kids who clearly have gotten off track. Constructive, well thought out comments in this blog and elsewhere (the workplace, etc.) are way more productive in moving us back towards a “civil” society that engages in “civil discourse” about things that affect us all.

Observer
7 years ago

This part of Mr. Mead’s letter didn’t get much discussion: “….and used this to intimidate and humiliate numerous students and staff.”

I have no problem with the shaving cream but when any group of students intimidates and humiliates school staff, they have crossed the line from pranks to just plain bad behavior.

Smdh
7 years ago

why hasn’t arhs done anything about their blatantly racist name, mascot, and sports cheers? Punish that

Jennifer Saffran
7 years ago
Reply to  Smdh

I wrote to the principal on this issue about five years back. No answer. In other parts of the country, this would be a big deal. I remember seniors dressed as “Indians” having a loud parade with fake war whoops and the “tomahawk chop”. It’s past time to address issue.

Common Sense
7 years ago

Arbotrary refusal of student rights is as contraband as shaving cream.

Lisa
7 years ago

Shaving cream in the parking lot after school is one thing. During the senior march which is meant to acknowledge mature accomplishments is ridiculous. Shame on those students that have ruined the experience for all.
Tom Mead had a difficult decision to make. Either way he would have critics and supporters. But that is leadership. It is easy for us to sit with our devices typing our opinions.

Former T-Hawk
7 years ago

Like many other former t-hawks or current t-hawks that have commented here, I stand in the same position. The traditions, that are no longer being upheld, are things that contribute to the culture and environment at Algonquin. Many don’t participate in the shaving cream fight and they don’t have to. But, it was allowed by administration and very much accepted. The march, on the other hand, is something everyone participates in and is something that makes Algonquin, for lake of a better word, Algonquin. Don’t get me wrong, because I have heard multiple accounts from current seniors on the disrespectful and absurd behavior that took place during the day at school, which should not be tolerated. But, in a way, it is being tolerated. Sure, the principal decided to eliminate these traditions from future years and cancel their ball (that was being held in the cafeteria of all places…which I heard not many students would attend anyway), but those 10-15 students that were behind all of this and the horrifying behavior that happened during the school day including harassing current students and teachers? well, they’re not in trouble are they? Students do these things because they know they’ll get away with them and they’re right in that thinking because they did get away with it. This does set an example for future classes, because clearly (and hopefully) they won’t continue this behavior in the future, but now they don’t even have a chance to prove themselves differently than this class has. It seems like this class has ruined it for future classes. Hopefully, as the principal says, future traditions and new ones will be created and executed properly.

Senior Parent
7 years ago
Reply to  Former T-Hawk

Just to clarify…SOME members of ‘this class’ ruined it for others. NOT the whole class.

Former T-Hawk
7 years ago
Reply to  Senior Parent

Regardless if some did it or the whole class did it, those ‘some’ represent their class at large and have ruined it for future classes.

Algonquin Student
7 years ago

Every website that has reported about this incident has confused both events that occurred during the day.

1. During our lunch block is when the Senior March occurs. This is where us seniors are getting in trouble from. No one is outside during this time which is what each article seems to try and show. The march is us running around the school, being as loud as possible, and chanting. In the tweet the Harbinger tweeted shows the march. The problem with the march this year was that a select group of maybe 10/360 seniors in our class harassed teachers, defaced school property, and destroyed cameras. The shaving cream, silly string, and other “contraband” was just icing on the cake because as its been reported, took about 30 minutes to clean up.

2. Following the end of the school day, all the seniors meet outside to do our annual shaving cream fight at the end of school. The pictures that show seniors covered in shaving cream outside is this fight NOT the Senior March. This is 100% allowed by the school.

Before posting an article, learn your facts. Algonquin is a great school, and the students in it just as great. I’m disgusted that so many new reports are not separating between the march and the school-approved shaving cream fight which makes Algonquin look even worse than it already does.

Graduating Senior Parent
7 years ago

Everyone should step back, take a deep breath, and recall that this behavior is nothing new from years past at most high schools. I am not condoning the actions of a few, and they should be held accountable in some fashion. But, not one that possibly ruins the rest of their lives. Many, if not all of us parents participated in some form of class prank or disruption when we graduated, some to worse degrees and some less. Future students and school officials should learn from this. I’ve been told that there were many school officials on hand as the students came through one door. Next time check for things being carried. As far as the Senior Ball being cancelled, I understand the decision for the entire group, realizing that it is not fair to all. If I recall, last years event was held at Gillette (as Westboro did this year) and that that was no longer possible because of behavior last year. So, with all the years of this tradition comes the good, the bad, and sometimes the ugly. But, we expect that, because we’ve all been there many times! So, Art, get your panties out of a bunch and if you want to help, find ways to educate the future generations, not just berate them all, their parents, and stereotype everyone as idiots and brats!

resident
7 years ago

The funniest thing about all this is that the kids don’t really care about senior ball. It wasn’t some grand thing at some exciting place as in previous years. Mr. Mead says he takes responsibility but still penalizes all the kids for a few wrongdoers. If he had been doing his job all along, we may not have even had an issue. Maybe he can finally start acting Like the principal he SHOULD be. I will tell you a couple of students were grabbed by administration. They should be very thankful that it wasn’t mine or there would be Hell to pay. Administration does not have the right to manhandle any of those kids. The actions of the teachers and administration was equally as bad if not worse. What should we take away from them for their behavior?

student
7 years ago

Just so you’re all aware of the facts:
The march is allowed. It is a tradition. Students are encouraged to bring noise makers and to have a great time displaying their school pride. They were told to not bring shaving cream, and they did. Those that did were the major minority, simply 10-20 out of the 350+ that were marching. The shaving cream was sprayed at senior students and students of other grades alike that left their classrooms in order to be involved in the fun as well. I personally did not hear of any destruction of the fire alarms/security cameras until the school day was over. The teachers expressed their disappointment in what occurred, and all senior students immediately cleaned up the shaving cream around the school. This behavior is not abnormal; it occurs every year. After the school day, it is another tradition to have a COMPLETELY separate shaving cream fight. The two have no connection. This is also allowed. This is where students bring water balloons and throw that as well as shaving cream at their classmates and others that wish to join in.

The students of Algonquin are not spoiled; I know many that have had to work all four years to earn enough to simply go to college, and they still expect to drown in debt. The Class of 2015 has students going Princeton, Harvard, and many other prestigious schools. The class as a whole has given Algonquin so much over the past four years that one event should not define it.

Tyler Daley
7 years ago

bruh, its shaving cream, everyone chill out.

Former ARHS student
7 years ago

It does not make sense to me why Mr. Mead feels the need to punish everyone for the acts committed by a fraction of the senior class. However, it does not surprise me in the least bit. As someone who is now in college, I often compare high school stories with my friends from other towns and states, and it is jarring to me how strict Algonquin administration is in comparison to other schools. Why can’t they just let the seniors have a little fun? I understand that vandalizing the school is completely inappropriate, but it really couldn’t have been that bad if it only took 30 minutes to clean up. Mr. Mead even points out in his letter that many seniors were willing to help and tidy up the halls… so why is he punishing them?! Mr. Mead is a nice guy, but I was really unimpressed with his leadership skills as a student at Algonquin. He talks a good game but has no idea how to actually work with students. Administration in general at Algonquin is more concerned with “looking good” and getting on those “best school in the state” lists rather than actually caring about how their students feel and experience their 4 years in high school

Tom
7 years ago

The students are not not being immature, They are having fun. You should try it.

GO STUDENTS

Leslie Foley
7 years ago

Where do I start?

I am frustrated, upset and yes, amused by many of the remarks written. As a current employee with over fifteen years at ARHS and parent of three graduates of ARHS I have been witness to many years of Senior pranks, parades, and all kinds of crazy antics. Some were creative, funny, annoying, smelly……you get my point.
I have viewed many senior parades and some were embraced with great school pride and just a lot of fun.
This year the vibe was different……it was chaotic, disorganized, disrespectful and did not meet the typical expectations of the senior parade day! It didn’t help that we experienced the warmest weather so far this spring, it was hot! The APTO was there to serve free ice cream sundaes to the students to celebrate seniors last full day of school.
From my perspective the day was a huge disappointment and I was disgusted by the behavior of some students, not all! There were students who chose to step up and help the overworked staff and custodial crew clean up.

My reason for posting just a small glimpse of senior week is that too many people hear things and make assumptions not knowing all the facts. Too many people are quick to criticize before they have all the facts. Some facts we will never know nor should we. There are three sides to any story his side, her side and somewhere in the middle is the truth! The administration did what they thought was the proper action to take! Simply put the Administration has more insight to what took place that we are not all privy to.

If one or all of my children were not behaving say while going on a family outing, and I told them if they continued with their unacceptable behavior there would be a consequence I would follow through with said consequence. Even if it meant ending the family outing before it started. Yes it disappoints the rest of the family but hopefully it teaches a valuable lesson!

As I previously stated I have worked at ARHS for many years and I can assure you this years events where far different than years past!

Another Senior Parent
7 years ago

Another Parent of a Senior

The unimaginable has happened; members of the senior class are “disrupting and unsettling” in their final days! The ARHS administration has no other recourse but to cancel a dance and remove sponsorship of traditions for the years to come. Could this be the first time this administration has launched a senior class? Their actions certainly appear novice and lacking in the “reflection” Mr. Mead professes to have undertaken.

The graduating class of 2015 has had quite a process at ARHS. Including the late addition of a gym requirement which cost many the opportunity to take an AP course, the traditions they anticipated from freshmen year have been almost completely obliterated. In a striking show of ignorance, and under the guise of respect for differences, the administration blundered its way into dissolving the traditional gown colors at graduation and focusing the backlash on gender fluid students.

There was a bit of school spirit which grew around the Varsity Football team’s season but even in this venue, the AD didn’t permit the use of horns and acted in restraint of all but the mildest expressions of T-Hawk pride, ultimately, dissolving the energy. Being well known for disregarding the concerns of athletes and parents alike, I understand that some of the “profanity” associated with the shaving cream was addressed toward her. Surprising….

We are, after all talking, about an administration that can prevent cars from parking in the lot without a pass, uses police dogs to scan the hallways and still cannot seem to keep the lavatories free of tobacco or marijuana smoke.

Why are we talking about shaving cream anyway? Wouldn’t it be more relevant to discuss the fact that we have only a semblance of a bullying policy which lacks accountability in any form? How about a review of the number of suicide attempts made by ARHS students this year and the lack of any response by the administration? Or maybe somebody has called or written to the Principal and actually gotten a response…..

Adolescents are by definition, mercurial. In one moment they are profoundly considerate and in the next impulsive. They are capable of great acts of selflessness and then can be utterly self-absorbed. As for what they display in what context, there, Mr. Mead, I believe you reap what you sow. I think we have a pretty typical group of seniors this year; a spirited bunch of kids who are anxious to start their futures, their distinction being that they are suffered to be judged as disrespectful when they have been educated in an environment that is profoundly so.

I understand that Mr. Mead’s claim to fame is that he balances a mean budget and with no disrespect for that function, I am not sure that justifies his lack of leadership in developing and maintaining a healthy educational culture at ARHS.

Surely, continuing the pattern of acting without understanding, favoring the appearance of responsibility without actually engaging it, or my personal favorite, simply ignoring it all, will produce a more desired outcome in the future! As noted in numerous previous comments, there is no hospitable venue to address these concerns. Being discontent to be just another voice of disdain, I too have attended board meetings, reached out to members, written letters and even meet with Superintendents (yes, plural). I could have accomplished more by banging my head against the wall though that may have keep my children safer.

Resident
7 years ago

Well said, very well said.

Maria Somebody
7 years ago

Thank you so much for an educated cogent breakdown of the failings of the school. You enumerate many of the reasons why although I live in Southborough and pay inordinate taxes I felt it necessary to remove my daughter from the school system. She is far to precious and intelligent for me to permit the lack of education and respect fostered at Neary, Trottier and apparently ARHS. Furthermore I truly question the safety of the school

Al Hamilton
7 years ago

If the seniors are unhappy with the performance of the administration there is a clear way to hold them accountable. Register to Vote. Hold the School Committee responsible. Attend Town meeting if you can and ask pointed questions on the floor (It is your right). It is the only forum where the School Committee can’t ignore the questions from the public.

Deborah Moore
7 years ago
Reply to  Al Hamilton

Voting is an important part of civic responsibility, no doubt. Anyone who can register to vote should do so and should also vote.

As an example, I turned 18 two months before graduation, and within 5 months of that, I had left my hometown and have never returned.

Had I been greatly dissatisfied with my school administration, my voting status would have had little to do with how I could respond.

southboroughresident
7 years ago

It’s about time someone held students accountable for their actions. The level of entitlement of the kids, and “kids will be kids” apathy is embarrassing. If any footage of the kids responsible for this exists, they should be brought up on charges and forced (or the parents forced) to pay any damages i.e.- clean-up costs, re-fitting the damaged security cameras, et al. And to anyone saying the cameras couldn’t catch them all, it’s time the parents start taking away the phones, cars, etc of the kids that are able to be seen until they rat on their cohorts. Come to think of it, they should probably be taken away anyway!

This is 2015, not 1975. It’s a different world and a different mindset now. I’m not saying I like it, but it’s a fact and we’re stuck with it. Unfortunately, part of what’s going on is some parents acting more like their kid’s friends instead of parents. It’s a tough job, but you chose it. Take the lead from Tom Mead; sometimes the tough decisions have to be made… and stuck to!

Algonquin Senior
7 years ago

I don’t even understand why this situation is getting so much attention. Algonquin doesn’t recycle anything properly and uses hundreds of foam trays a day. Why don’t people put that on the news?

Mike Fuce
7 years ago

First and I say again, why don’t people post up their names when speaking up (southborough parent, senior parent et..)? Thank you Mrs. Foley for your insight. Thank you Tom Mead, Mel Laughton, Mike Gorman and the facilities staff for putting up with what seems to be a bad situation. I wish, whether my son or daughter, your son or daughter, whoever took part, I wish the offenders were addressed individually and not collectively, and not punish the kids who were responsible. I hear so much bitterness in so many voices, I hear so many words from the grievance crowd, but few put their names to a post. Perhaps that is the lesson of the day, folks can hide, act irresponsibly and without individual responsibility. I think many of the posts are very thoughtful, but be careful of trying to ban this one or that one. I believe that is part of this years frustration. You can not give so many a voice in the minority, but shutter the majority, without suffering some backlash and perhaps this is a bit of that for all of us to learn from. Congratulations senior class for what all of you accomplished, league championship year for the first time in years, athletic and scholastic scholarships, going into the military, or being part of a community that seems to have done pretty well over the long run. Go on and make it a great life.

Getting out of here.
7 years ago

Maybe if they focused this level of attention to Trottier Middle school where pot use, bullying and cutting are running rampant, they wouldn’t produce this level of “Hooliganism”.

There is an epidemic of ineptitude at all levels of the Southboro school systems. Parents, administrators, and teachers share equal culpability. If you think a little shaving cream is big deal, its only because its visually unavoidable. There are far more pressing issues then some Seniors blowing off some steam at the end of their 12 years of torture at the hands of people like Keith Lavoie and Tom Mead.

Pull your heads out f the sand people. Your not getting the level of education you think you are for your egregious tax dollars.

are you serious
7 years ago

I cannot believe some of the comments that are being posted on this website..My son was in the cafeteria and spayed with shaving cream he thought it was very funny and never felt threatened. It was a joke. Many seniors and other students stayed after to clean it up..Get over yourself people it was teenagers being teenagers excited for their last day of high school. I guess many of you have forgotten what that feels like.

Carlyle
7 years ago

Thankfully this principal took a stand against this. Too many kids and parents have no respect for property. When the day someone gets hurt, then someone will be saying something. School property needs to be respected. It will be interesting to see what these kids turn out to be in college.

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