UPDATED: Freshmen Told To Go To Cafeteria Not Gym For Annual Thanksgiving Pep Rally

FRAMINGHAM – The annual Framingham High School pep rally in the school’s gym the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is loud – very loud.

The stands are packed with many students wearing Flyer blue.

A few years ago, parents of the football players and other performers were told they could no longer attend the rally, as space was tight in the gym.

In the last couple of years, seating has been limited to those who arrived early, some have been turned away.

There are four sets of bleachers and each of the four classes – freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors have had a bleacher – until this year!

This year, freshmen have been told they are not welcome at the pep rally – for safety reasons.

Fire code does not allow the full student body to be in the gym, and the four bleachers (one assigned for each grade in past rallies) can not even hold each grade level.

Framingham High’s freshman class is the largest at more than 700 students. The student body for the high school is pushing 2,300 students.

“The administration gave considerable thought to student safety regarding the pep rally.   It was a very difficult decision but there is not enough capacity in the gym to include the entire Freshman class,” said Principal Carolyn Banach.

“We would love to have the Freshman students physically attend the pep rally but it is simply a matter of student safety,” said the Principal to SOURCE this morning.

The pep rally is not mandatory. Students can choose not to attend.

“We are making accommodations to live broadcast into the cafeteria so the Class of 2023 can watch the pep rally together.  I realize it is not the same as being in the gym but student safety has to come first,” said Principal Banach.

Many high schools hold their annual pep rally at the football fields, because some high schools, like Newton North, Lincoln-Sudbury, Natick and Ashland, have their football fields adjacent to his school. But Framingham High’s football field (Bowditch Field) is more than 3 miles away.

Too far to have the students walk, and a logistical issue in regards to buses and transportation.

There is the possibility to hold the rally outside on the soccer field, but that would be weather permitting.

In the past, the band, the drumline, the cheerleaders, the dance team, and the football players all speak or perform at the pep rally. Typically the show is directed at the upperclassmen – juniors and seniors – with the sophomores and freshmen seeing the show from behind.

The classes battle – verbally – at the rally, and everyone leaves with a lot of school spirit.

Last year, head football coach Ed Mantie challenged his team to win at Fenway and the underdog Flyers did win the annual Thanksgiving game against rival Natick High.

Last night and this morning, there has been a lot of chatter of Framingham freshman staging a walkout as a protest of the class not allowed to attend the rally in the gym. Several students and parents have contact SOURCE and mentioned a possible walkout on Wednesday.

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Photos from the 2018 rally

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

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