The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

ASB changes spirit week theme in response to students’ concerns

Executive ASB announced earlier today that it has changed the theme of next week’s spirit week after multiple students voiced their concerns.

Originally labeled “Battle of the Sexes,” several students took to social media and wrote letters to ASB representatives and school officials criticizing the spirit week as being stereotypical, sexist and non-inclusive.

The new theme, according to junior Executive ASB Secretary Liya Ewing, is “The Power of Love,” focusing on “promoting love and friendships and relationships.”

Ewing said that when ASB officers decided on original theme, they didn’t realize students might take offense to the “Battle of the Sexes” theme and related spirit days.

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“I just want to make it really clear that when we went into this we had no intention of any of this happening, we had no intention of creating arguments in our school. We wanted to do the complete opposite and instead unite people, but because of this we drew people apart,” she said.

But when the theme was announced earlier this week, many students voiced strong opposition to the theme.

Senior Elise Hedge was one of the students most vocal about her opposition to the “Battle of the Sexes” spirit week. She first voiced her opinion on social media and later wrote to MTHS administrators and then to ASB voicing her concerns.

Hedge said she felt she had to speak out because she has friends that may have been excluded by the theme.

“I have multiple trans and non-binary friends, so from them and from other people who are trans, non-binary, intersex, etc., I am aware of the difficulties they face being accepted by people who aren’t educated about gender fluidity,” Hedge said

“I know how hard it is to speak up about something you believe in and I know a lot of people don’t understand, this however [this issue] something I’m very passionate about and support 100 percent, so I felt it was very necessary to share my thoughts and reasons for why [the “Battle of the Sexes” spirit week] wasn’t appropriate,” Hedge explained.

During this morning’s ASB meeting, Hedge’s letter was read on her behalf. Principal Greg Schwab and sophomore Nicole Gallagher voiced their concerns as well.

SEE MORE: Read senior Elise Hedge’s letter expressing her concerns about the original “Battle of the Sexes” spirit theme.

Ewing said with the new theme and new spirit days in place, that she hopes next week will focus on inclusion and positivity at MTHS.

“We want to remind everyone that it’s Valentine’s Day next Saturday, where you’re supposed to show people how much you love them,” Ewing said. “Not only as an ASB, as individuals how much we love our school, how much we love the people that go here and we would never want to exclude anyone when they come to school,” she said.

Hedge said she appreciated ASB’s decision to change the theme and was grateful they responded to her comments.

“I appreciate [ASB] changing the theme and adjusting most of the days very much, and I’m sure a lot of other students feel the same way. I think [ASB] handled it pretty well, being informed about a ton of stuff you’ve never heard about before is confusing and frustrating, so I appreciate that they took these responses seriously,” Hedge said.

As for next week’s spirit day schedule, Monday is “Wear Your Crush Day,” Tuesday is “Royalty Day,” where students are encouraged to dress in formal attire, Wednesday is “Camo vs. Tie Die Day,” Thursday is “Preps vs. Jocks Day,” and Friday is “Valentine’s Colors Day.”


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    Erick YanzonFeb 9, 2015 at 1:49 am

    I am glad that some people are actually taking a stand on social issues like these that needs to be addressed. I wish there were more of a school wide discussion on why this actually matters to make everyone aware, and to prevent this from happening again. Although the way ASB handled it, I think we’re getting there. Or even better, is if students are taught in school about social identities and why they are important. Children should be taught early enough about things like race, sexual orientation, religion, disability, etc., and even if it’s such a controversial topic that kids might not be able to wrap their brain around, at least let them know that it exist and that it’s okay. Ignorance leads to prejudice which leads to discrimination. These kinds of debates need to be more talked about. More people need to voice their opinion and speak up!