The new version of homecoming

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Shield Staff

Pleasant Valley High School Band playing at the pep rally in the gym last friday.

Daniel Zietlow, Sports Editor

Homecoming is undoubtedly one of the most exciting weeks of the school year. The whole student population comes together to celebrate school spirit, vote for king and queen, andof coursedance. The dance is the first major school event and draws in a lot of students. But in recent years, homecoming has seen a handful of necessary changes to promote safety.

Pleasant Valley’s homecoming dance always brought in a lot of people in the past. “Before COVID, roughly 600-700 students attended but in the past few years, closer to 1100 students have gone,” said Darren Erickson, principal of Pleasant Valley High School. The school was not ready for this surplus of students last year and, as a result, the dance got a little out of hand.

This year, Erickson and the PTA made sure the dance ran smoothly. For the first time, the PTA gave a 100-dollar incentive for teachers to chaperon the dance. As a result, the school had approximately one teacher for every hundred students. It was one of the best school dances Erikson had seen.

Despite being one of the most enjoyable school-held events, these dances are also dangerous.  “We have more students attending the dance than before and with more people the risk of something happening only increases,” shared Jamey Fah, the student resource officer at PVHS. This is only the second year the dance has been held in the gym. Previously it was held in the cafeteria, but a substantial increase in attendance demanded a bigger space.

During last year’s Homecoming, across town at Bettendorf High School the school witnessed a scary event with a fake shooting and banging on the lockers to imitate a gunshot. “[This year] we had officers on raised boxes looking into the crowd for anything suspicious,” said Fah. “We have such great communication with the school and our dispatch. I don’t think [PV] would have an event like that happen.” 

Homecoming is a special time during the school year for students and the dance is the week’s climax. With  more and more students attending the dance, PV’s administration has made multiple adjustments to ensure the dance remains a safe and fun environment for all.