Walk Out on LHS Obstacle Course Ends with Schoolwide Confusion

The greatest race was to see who could escape the gym first, but why?


Jaden White

The double doors hundreds of students will unexpectedly flock to.

October 28th, 2022 marked an exciting event for Lafayette students of all classes. Students gathered to witness an obstacle course that the school teased 18 days prior. Staff stood in pride and excitement as spectators flocked to the gym, taking their seats and preparing for the race to unfold. Competitors ran, dove, and scooted through the gymnasium floors in hopes of coming out victorious. But as this all was taking place, a new competition would soon arise: a competition to see how many spectators could get out of the nearby double doors before the school day ended. This occurrence both shocked and confused staff, leading to another unexpected ending to another seemingly foolproof plan.

Following the lukewarm success of the three-on-three basketball game from last year, Lafayette staff banded together to create a similar event to celebrate the end of the first marking period. Project leader Nancy Scott stated that the event was meant to be a celebration to students who behaved well throughout the first marking period. Students who did not receive an ISS or OSS infraction were allowed to participate in the event as a player or were allowed to watch the event as a spectator. Teachers and students raced to see which teams could complete various tasks the quickest. Students who did not wish to participate were expected to cheer for their favorite teams, all while spending time with friends and earning a well deserved break from the stress school brings on a regular basis.

The unenthusiastic stares of our Ram Nation foreshadows the events that would take place. (Jaden White)

Once students entered the gym, they were expected to stay until the school day ended. The event was scheduled during 8th block on a half day, a day which likely led to many being confused of the day’s schedule. About 80% of spectators stated that they were clueless as to when the event was supposed to end, already setting a tone of dependence of their peers’ knowledge. Although this could be seen as a leading factor to the incident, many also pointed to the fact that the event was underwhelming. Out of the 5 students asked about the event’s quality, 3 of them had mentioned that the event was unexciting and repetitive for them, or at the very least thought other students may have been exhausted from watching the event. School security guard Officer Brown commented that “If the gym was better prepared, this wouldn’t have happened” and that “they should’ve had a backup plan to keep students occupied incase the original plan went wrong.”

Ultimately, the combination of spectators’ oblivion and the event’s overall quality may have led to one of the school’s oddest incidents in recent times. At first, only a few students tried to leave, bored and frustrated from how repetitive it quickly became. But when others witnessed their departure, many more students joined in, heading for the doors at a rapid pace. Hundreds of students crowded the hall attempting to leave the gymnasium, but security quickly came to round up any escapists and escort them back to the gym. Although the round up was successful, the event was practically ruined. Some refused to sit back in their seats, and the amount of time it took to rally up all the students made it impossible to conclude the event. Nancy Scott agreed with this, as she believed that the premature exit of students was perhaps the event’s greatest flaw, explaining how it caused what she believed to be a good time to end in frustration.

The incident was so unexpected that even Lafayette High School principal, Paul Rice, was left in the dark about the whole ordeal. When asked about the event, Mr. Rice explained that he didn’t fully understand if students were truly dismissed. At first, he believed that that was what was happening, but after realizing that wasn’t the case, he was left in confusion. Even during the interview, he wasn’t quite sure as to what originally went down and who exactly was responsible. He did however come to the conclusion that the walk out likely stemmed from the lack of transparency related to the time of dismissal for students. Mr. Rice notes that in future he wishes to have a system that will notify students when such events are over. Additionally, he notes that events like this will not be affected by this rare moment. He believes the harmful actions of a few should not reflect on the overall behavior of every attendee, comparing such an action to giving an entire class more homework just because a few students refused to do it.

In future, clocks like this may be accompanied by an announcement telling students when an assembly is over. (MichealPL Wikimedia Commons)

Fortunately, Ms. Scott is always open to changes as she sees room for improvement in every event she hosts. With mentions of new obstacles or changes in the overall structure, there seems to be more ways to keep students who were bored of the event engaged. Combined with Mr. Rice’s notification system, we shouldn’t see anything like this happen again, but whether these efforts will be beneficial we will have to wait and see.