[BHS Etree] ADMIN: Waterplay, Waterfights, and Clear Consequences

BHS etree bhs at lists.lmi.net
Mon May 5 20:10:49 PDT 2014

Dear BHS Staff and Families:


On occasion, our mutual interests, our kids, require us to touch base on
issues that may at first seem trivial, but in a different context require us
to frame an issue for our kids with some clear expectations and boundaries.


As silly as a concern over things like water balloons, water guns, or other
water-based projectiles may seem (yes I just wrote that), I do write tonight
to ask you to help clarify expectations and consequences to our students
regarding these things.


Tempting as these activities may be with the onset of warmer weather, they
are nonetheless not permitted on or around the Berkeley High School campus
and will, for better or worse, receive a consequence of up to three days


Aside from the obvious distraction that these activities generate, I want to
give you an example of how these seemingly innocuous behaviors can, when
compounded, cause a much larger problem. 


Last Friday following dismissal, several students from BHS began throwing
water balloons outside the campus, and also in the downtown area. While the
intent was generally, and at least initially, playful, the energy and
rambunctiousness generated by this ad-hoc water fight soon led to students
running across traffic in the downtown area; witnesses described this as
more than just a little dangerous. 


Additionally, merchants and downtown employees reported having their
businesses and customers hit with water balloons, and provided reports of
some students generally disrespecting property and people including staff
and police officers. 


While crowds formed, and prior to realizing that the commotion was over
water balloons, our staff had called for assistance from BPD who in turn
helped us tremendously, but like us, saw a large and ultimately unnecessary
drain on their resources.


At the very least I am asking all of us to have a brief, but clear
conversation with our kids as a community around how these seemingly
innocuous and seemingly playful behaviors can escalate; moreover, how they
can escalate in a way that not only becomes a safety issue for kids and
neighbors, but also creates unnecessary work for other people and drains
resources from where they would be better applied. 


Please be advised that water fights, water guns, or other comparable
distractions, whether or not they are related to a game, and whether or not
they occur on or around campus, will be subject to a three-day suspension. 


Water balloons and water fights in general are by no means a sign of the
apocalypse, but the issue at hand is more about appropriate time and place
as well as fostering respect for others and respect for the broader


Thanks for your help.


Pasquale Scuderi


Berkeley High School



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