Marshall Students Lose Battle Against Principal to Keep Homecoming

Marshall

Marshall High School students lost their second battle this year against their principal, Falilat Shokunbi, to keep their homecoming.

Students of Marshall had their privileges to have a homecoming dance revoked as a result of the incessant fighting in the school.

The first dance was scheduled to be on a Friday in September from 3:30-6:30 p.m. Students were displeased with this decision because they felt this was too early in the day to have a dance for high school students. They decided to meet with Principal Shokunbi to inquire about having the dance at a later time, however, she declined their requests.

She felt that having the dance during the day was a precautionary measure to keep the students out of danger. The students believe this worry stems from the previous year’s homecoming when a young man was shot and killed on his way to the dance.

They were unable to sway their principal’s decision, so they dropped the subject. However, a different problem arose within the student body: Fighting. Most of these occur in Marshall as a result of gang affiliations.

A few days before the dance, there were several altercations on campus. One day, in particular, there was a fight during almost every class period, including a six freshman who jumped one other classmate. No students were suspended because the principal felt it was pointless to do so since students will likely fight upon returning to school. Instead, she issued a different punishment.

The same day the fights occurred, Principal Shokunbi canceled the homecoming dance and pep rally.

The next day, she was not present at the school, due to meetings she had to attend. Sixteen-year-old Porch’e Barney saw her absence as an opportunity to lead a group of her classmates in a protest against the cancellation of the homecoming dance.

The protest did not build much steam. Most of her classmates returned to class within the first 10 minutes in fear they would get in trouble for participating instead of being in class. However. this would not be the last protest.

Barney led another protest in October after regaining and losing their homecoming privilege again because seven students jumped another classmate.

After having their dance revoked, students at Marshall were outraged because they had already purchased their outfits and tickets for the dance, which was scheduled for the next day.

Following Barney’s lead, nearly half the school protested and refused to go to class. This, however, only lasted for two class periods before the principal called the police to come to Marshall. Then held a meeting with all of the students about their behavior.

Marshall’s students deemed their principal unfair for taking away their dance since it seemed they were the only school that did not have one. In order to compensate for the students not having their homecoming, Principal Shokunbi has promised the students a field trip every month and Winter Ball.

By Trinity Oglesby
Edited by Jeanette Smith

Featured and Top Images by Staff Photographer Devin Jackson

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