"We're very serious about keeping the peace around the school and protecting school property. We don't have any patience left. Hopefully, the parents will help us out. Although we call it homecoming week, the place for former students show their support is at the game Friday night, not up at the campus on week nights. We want everyone to have a safe, positive celebration," said Speer.
Dobie Ends Celebration Tradition
At least one homecoming tradition at Dobie High School won't take place this year because of rambunctious behavior and disregard for school property displayed for the last two years.
In the past, school administrators tolerated some overzealous activities surrounding homecoming week such as "papering" the trees and shrubbery around the school. The administrators considered the prank a somewhat harmless show of school spirit.
Unfortunately, the last two years, the situation grew into a more hazardous and negligent problem. "Before, we let the students go ahead and have a little fun with papering because they didn't do any real harm and cleanup only took a short time. The fun changed into a problem two years ago and last year's situation became dangerous, said principal Jerry Speer.
"Because of the actions of a small minority of students and ex-students we will not allow any kind of activity at the school that is not scheduled as a school function. If people do not have a legitimate reason for being on campus, they will be asked to leave," said Speer. Other than normally scheduled sporting events and other extracurricular activities, the school will also hold a dance Friday night following the football game.
Last year's celebration turned ugly when the number of people on campus and the amount of paper became unmanageable for the number of security officers and custodial staff on duty.
Speer said many of the young people at the school that night had either graduated or had been kicked out. Encouraged by large quantities of alcohol and being one of the the crowd, people gather at the school last year turned to vandalism.
By the time the crowd dispersed, a fire had been set on the roof of the school, graffiti had been painted on sidewalks and outside walls of the building, two glass doors had been smashed and a Pasadena ISD security car's windows had been broken.
"We had to call the fire department because of the fire on the roof and the fire marshal at the scene told me if the paper on the ground has caught fire, we would have had a serious problem," said Speer.
Last year's cleanup, handled by the district's Operations department cost $1,503.02, "There are a lot of other worthwhile things we can spend $1,500 worth of taxpayers money on," said Speer.
District administrators and security officers plan to quall any unnecessary activity this year before it gets started.
Because other school functions will be going on at the school the night before the homecoming game, people can't be stopped from coming on campus. Anyone without a reason to be on school property will be asked to leave. If they don't they will be charged with criminal trespassing.