Every year, high schools all over the U.S. host a school dance called Sadie Hawkins; this year, the theme of the dance at Bonneville High School was “Dancing Among the Stars.” The difference from this dance and others is the factor of stripping away the gender basis of asking; anyone can ask anyone.
The first part of Sadies is the daytime activity. The overall idea is a group of dates to do an activity together and enjoy each other's company with the opportunity of taking group and single photos. Edison Bare, a junior at BHS, said in an interview “The day was an absolute blast! We went to the museum, played lazer tag, and ate dinner at one of the girls' houses. It was a lot all day but was super fun!” Spending time with loved ones can really be what makes these the best days ever.
This year, BHS Theater was responsible for the decorations of Sadies and making it look spectacular. The day before the dance, the school was evacuated due to a battery leak, not allowing the theater students to arrive at a later time and still do their job of decorating the school for this marvelous event. Bare again shared her opinion on the matter: “There were a lot of little things that really pulled the whole theme together and made it fun.” The dance was limited to the commons area and the hallway to the front office with the lockers, cafeteria, and rest of the school blocked out with black paper coated with white dots to resemble the night sky.
The dance portion included a DJ, individual photos, and a small variety of food. The dance officially started at 8:30 p.m., but the bigger crowds did not form until about an hour into the dance. During the event, there were a couple line dances interspersed with many slow love songs to give people the opportunity to dance together. Bare stated, “I enjoyed being able to party with my group, and [the DJ] played a good amount of slow songs, not too much or too little which I thought was nice.”
Sadie Hawkins was the second school dance of the year, and it will not be the last. These activities are the makers of memories for the students who attend. High school dances can make the overall experience of school more fun and enjoyable for students.
Rose Le Boudec
With Spanishs, Frenchs, Russians, Koreans, and many other nationalities, Bonneville High School is an international meeting place. With over thirty exchange students, Bonneville is probably the school with the most exchange students in Idaho Falls.
A foreign exchange student chooses to discover a new culture, country, and language. The students decide, on their own, to go to a country that they do not know. Thirty-two exchange students are currently attending Bonneville; for some it is their first year, for others it is their second. Livia Bock is from Germany, and she is entering her second year of school here at Bonneville High School. She said, “[I chose to do an exchange year] because I always wanted to experience this and learn more about America, and improve my English. And [I chose] to come back so I can graduate here.”
Emma Verhofstad, BHS’s only exchange student from the Netherlands, stated “[I chose to do an exchange year] to learn English and to experience a new culture, and because I don’t know what to do after high school.” Hailing from South Korea, Jaekwon Song said “[I chose to do an exchange year] to improve my English, that’s the main goal.” What may seem strange to Americans is that most of the time, when an exchange student chooses to come to the United States, they hope to live the “American Dream” (Football games, Homecoming, Prom, etc.). For Song, his reason was “to learn some culture [and] meet a lot of people all over the world.” Verhofstad said, “I already knew English, so I won’t be able to learn a completely different language, and because America is pretty cool!” These two exchange students have settled in well at Bonneville High School. Song was on the soccer team, and Verhofstad just got back from the State competition in swimming. According to Verhofstad “[I do like my new life here] and I think it will be very outgoing.”
Being a foreign exchange student is not just about living their dream. An exchange student grows up, opens up to the world, and makes countless encounters, but also misses their family, friends, and home. They have to be ready to sacrifice their old life to open up a new chapter.
On May 6, 2021, two students and one staff member were wounded in a school shooting at Rigby Middle School. The attack on the school just ten miles from Bonneville High School put many people on edge and is one of the factors for the new security measures at BHS this year.
In a newsletter from September 22, 2022, the BHS principals detailed the new changes. The staff is still trained to move, secure, and defend their classrooms and students. A new set of controlled access doors were installed near the office, which require a secretary to unlock them to let anyone into the school. According to the newsletter, “These doors will funnel all visitors to the main office in order to gain access to the building.” This is done by locking the majority of the outside doors before, after, and during school hours, making the new doors the only entrance. A security film was installed over the exterior glass doors and windows that, according to the newsletter, “will make accessing the building by breaking windows almost impossible, even with a firearm.” Additionally, BHS administration is not allowing students to use the Hive doors as an exit anymore.
Recently, a survey of 80 Bonneville students and staff members revealed how they felt about the new security measures; 28 students voiced complaints about the locked doors. Khalee Burgess, senior at BHS, said, “I understand locking them during class periods but locking them before school is frustrating because I have to park by the AUX gym and it's annoying having to walk clear to the main entrance.” Many students use the parking spaces near the auxiliary gym or the Hive doors either for a zero-hour, band, choir, drama, or just because the rest of the parking spaces are full. Because most of the outside doors are locked, students parked on that side of the building or coming back from lunch, an appointment, or a class at the tech buildings can experience major inconvenience.
Many of the students and staff surveyed had ideas to make the school an even safer place, some more feasible than others. Mr. Harris and Mrs. Wagner, two staff members at Bonneville, suggested adding locking doors to the classrooms with open doorways; however, this is not possible because those classrooms contain emergency exits and legally have to remain open to the hallway. Other changes mentioned included metal detectors at entrances, requiring student IDs to scan to unlock doors, and even using hypothetical AI police hamsters to guard the doors. As senior Samuel Memmott said, “They are small! They are police! They are hamsters! Nobody gets past these little buddies!”
Although these changes may be inconvenient at times, they are for the protection of the students who attend Bonneville High School. Gordon Howard, director of D93 security, stated, “We, as a community, need to be more proactive when it comes to school safety.” The best way to create a safer environment at school is to take safety more seriously.