The Legacy of the Pumpkin

By: Grace Policelli

As a senior, the thought of my legacy is one that I have begun to think a lot about. What will I leave behind at Conard High School? What precedent will I set? I soon realized that the legacy of an ordinary fall vegetable would leave a more impactful legacy than I ever could. During the fall sports season, one team carved a message into a pumpkin directed at Hall. This was posted to social media, and ended up in the hands of coaches and the administration. However, there is nothing stated in the student handbook for incidents such as this. So, the punishments were left up to the coaches.

If each sport is left to their own devices, where the decision is up to the coaches, punishments will be unequal. Athletes should not suffer more or less due to the severity of individual coaches. Many students commented that if this had happened on the Football team, the punishment would have been significantly less harsh. Although we will never know if this is the case, it highlights the concern of disparities between expectations of different sports. Without universal guidelines, how can there be fair and unbiased repercussions? Could punishments be influenced by reputations, records, the athlete’s talent, or even the gender of the team? 

The pressing question of “What’s next?” is also on people's minds. If the punishment for an explicit social media posting starts so severe, what will happen when someone does something worse? If we start at 100, where else is there left to go? 

The pumpkin has created a sense of ominous hysteria around the sports culture. After the incident broke, one fall sport was asked to cross out “Maul Hall” on their Psych Boxes in response to the controversy. As a school, we must find a healthy balance that fosters competition, but not unsportsmanlike behavior. This must start with the administration and the coaches, but also within every student at Conard. The pumpkin has set a precedent for punishment, and we must be careful that this is the legacy we want to leave behind.