October 22, 2014 marks the first departure from the tradition of Bethel’s High’s well-established Color Day. After years of subsequent hazing, inappropriate behavior, and the administration’s disapproval; Color has officially evolved into a philanthropic activity to right its disreputable past.
The administration has already taken steps to expunge, or lessen the impact, of Color Day hazing. Last year they prohibited the use of duct tape, which was previously used as a tool for torment. However, they finally decided to curtail the abuse of the privileges of the praised spirit week activity.
Based on a longstanding tradition, Color Day allows for each grade level to dress according to their assigned class colors. Freshman are yellow, Sophomores blue, Junior green, and Seniors red. Students have worn everything from full body morph suits, feather boas, war paint, bandannas, and a plethora of chromatic attire. The duct tape was utilized to “tag” underclassmen in order to spread class supremacy. The intention was to build inter-class relations, and foster healthy competition among classes.
In recent years, the activities have escalated from a fun and friendly environment, to a war zone for some students. Many Seniors were caught taping underclassmen to the walls, and mummifying students with the industrial tape.
Bethel High School’s response to the mistreatment of the event is the installment of Charity Day. Each grade was tasked with designing and selling a T-shirt corresponding with a chosen charity. The charity’s shirts still contain a monochromatic color scheme. Freshman are yellow representing Livestrong, Sophomores are light blue supporting MLD, Juniors are black, representing Ability Beyond Disability, and the Seniors are supporting the AIDS foundation with red. The money raised by each class goes to their respective charity.
For what it’s worth, Color Day was easily the most popular of all Spirit Week activities with the highest percentage of class participation. The long-time tradition provided students the ability to easily identify a student’s grade level. Furthermore, it offered a low-cost opportunity for students to get involved with their class, whereas Charity Day incorporates a “pay-to-participate” threshold. Students have to shell out $12 for a T-shirt they will most likely only wear once. Although, the T-Shirt revenue is for a good cause it will surely lower the rate of participation as it creates yet another hoop for students to jump through.
“Charity day is just really badly timed! Charity day should be for charity, not be placed in and among events for school spirit!” states BHS Junior Caroline Giuliano ‘16.
Although it’s sad to witness the death of Color Day, it was ultimately inevitable that the event would be eradicated. This is partially due to the mounting frustration of the BHS admin after an e-mail scandal created by the Senior class of 2014. While the e-mail’s sender is unverified, they provided a professionally formatted letter allegedly from the Bethel High School administration declaring that Color Day would be rescheduled from a two hour delay schedule day, to a full schedule day that year. This student-written e-mail caused much controversy as some students believed it to be legitimate and came to school in full color day garb on the wrong day.
Not only was there an email regarding the day change for Color Day, there was another well formatted email, supposedly from the school administration, changing each grade’s colors for Color Day, causing much confusion.
Rather than completely revoking Color Day, there are possible compromises that can be reached. Charity Day should rather embrace wearing colored attire already owned to support the charity and raise awareness for the cause. Paid customized T-shirts should be available for those who want to support the cause monetarily, but not mandatory to participate in Spirit Week.
While we will willingly accept the presence of Charity Day, we believe that it should be closer to the holidays when people are in a more giving mood, and when it would be a much more appropriate time for this event. In addition, we would like to see some reforms regarding a compromise between Color and Charity Day. Though we were the classes to ruin Color Day for future generations, we can be the ones to fix the problems we created.