Robinson’s decided: “We are united”
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Many students expected the extended pep rally on Friday, March 9 to be a flop. But at 1:40 p.m., when Principal Robert Bhoolai and the Student Government Association (SGA) took the floor, they were set to prove the rumors otherwise and leave an impactful message.
“I think we did a good job of communicating the message that we are a community,” said Sarah Sanford, SGA advisor. “We are united.”
The first half of the pep rally was dedicated to honor the lives lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. And the message seemed to hit home for the students, as not a word from the crowd was spoken during the tribute.
Jamie Austin, the front office secretary, gave a spoken word presentation on the horrific events leaving the words “Never again” echoing in students’ ears.
The gym remained silent as Austin read aloud the names of the 17 victims in Parkland. 14 Robinson students and three faculty members solemnly walked to center court to honor those who had fallen.
And the Robinson community took a moment of silence together.
Adam Sherman, a teacher from Spoto High School, spoke to the students on behalf of the To Be Kind organization, a bullying prevention program through “the implementation of kindness”. (To find out more about To Be Kind, click here.)
He asked the students to put their arms around the people on either side of them.
Murmors quickly broke out among the stands as friends and classmates embraced each other.
“Repeat after me: I’ve got your back,” Sherman said.
And the Robinson students, sitting interlocked with one another, answered as one.
“I’ve got your back.”
And with that, Robinson transitioned into their pep rally to celebrate who they were together.
The rest of the pep rally acknowledged the spring sports and included performances from the Starlets winter guard, the theatre troupe, and even a teacher fashion show to express the “do’s” and “don’t’s” of prom attire.
“I liked celebrating the performances of our theatre troupe and brining some of our non-traditional acts in,” Sanford said. “So, not just sports, but celebrating all aspects of Robinson.”
SGA members agreed.
“I think [the pep rally] was actually successful,” Yaimilly Ayala (’18), SGA Chief of Staff said. “Considering it’s the day before spring break.”
The lack of student turnout was upsetting for SGA. Not only was the pep rally scheduled for the day before spring break, but unofficial senior skip day.
“It was my— it was our last pep rally and we lost the spirit chant,” Ayala said. “If our class was here, that wouldn’t have happened. [It means a lot to me] because you kind of rely on your classmates to be there for you… and it felt like they weren’t.”
Although the senior absence was felt, the remaining student body was engaged the entire duration of the pep rally.
The students in attendance closed out their last pep rally of the year with their spirit chant— together.