Pro vs. Con: Masks SHOULD be allowed at football games

Pro vs. Con: Masks SHOULD be allowed at football games

At DHS football games, as well as other sporting events, it is a tradition for students to dress up with a certain theme for every game in support of our team. This is always a chance for students to get together before games and have harmless fun while showing school spirit.

During the DHS-Bishop Stang football game on Stang’s home field Friday, September 12, word was spread to come dressed in all black and a white mask in support of our boys. However, that Friday during school, Principal John Gould made an announcement that students were not to wear masks or clothing that were provocative to the game according to the MIAA handbook.

The masks were meant to imitate the horror induced by the movie The Purge. The masks would represent how “scary” our team really was – referring only to their performance on the field. Unfortunately, what we thought would be supportive and spirited, administration practically saw as a threat.

As supportive students, we use the time before games – especially before the Dartmouth-Stang games – to bond and get amped up to watch our boys dominate. “It’s a sense of school unity and pride,” said senior Logan Crane. Seeing everyone together in the stands all dressed up for the same reason shows the players as well as the spectators our Dartmouth Pride.

Looking in the MIAA handbook to evaluate this no-masks statement, I searched deeper for the meaning of why the masks may have been forbidden. Surprisingly enough, though, there was no information on not being able to wear facial coverings of any sort in both the MIAA handbook as well as our own DHS student handbook.

In the MIAA Sportsmanship Guidelines for Fan/Spectator Support Items, the only information stated on the topic was that, “Fans are not prohibited from painting their faces/bodies or coloring their hair in manners that appropriately demonstrate school spirit.” To our misinformation, this indeed states that we ARE allowed to paint our faces for games. Our DHS handbook mentions nothing about wearing masks or face paint to games whatsoever.

We were willing to show our school IDs, and the masks wouldn’t be worn the whole time – they’d act as more of an accessory. The majority of Dartmouth students stay in one place all together at games anyway. If someone were there who intended to cause mischief, he would be easily recognizable.

We haven’t had any problem with students wearing masks, face paint, or costumes in the past. At the hockey playoff game last year against Hanover, Dartmouth spectators showed up in full costumes such as penguins and teddy bears. “Everyone wore costumes, nobody stopped them,” said Crane. “It was an official MIAA game, and the officials had no problem with it.” If this outrageous getup is allowed at hockey games, why not at football games?

This past decade or so, particularly since the Columbine shooting in 1999, school security has become overbearing with rules. We now have police officers on campus, security cameras, zero-tolerance policies, and limited student privileges in order to ensure student safety. What was once a harmless mask is now seen as a threat.

We understand that the school is liable for everything we do when under their care, but we’re growing up and learning how not to be stupid. We’re just teenagers having some of the most harmless fun we will probably ever have.

“It just shows school spirit,” said sophomore Paige Pacheco.

Having grown up in Dartmouth these past sixteen, seventeen years or so – we know how to represent ourselves with Dartmouth Pride, masks and all.