Before the second home game, Caledonia’s Principal Brady Lake emailed additional rules students have to follow. The new rules are that students may not bring paint or baby powder to games, nor may they crowd surf anymore.
In the past, decorating students with colorful paints and dyes was happily accepted by the school. Photographers took pictures of kids crowd surfing the student section, smiling ear to ear. However, after complaints from parents, Principal Lake made changes. His reasoning for banning powder is because it is obtrusive to other fans. Paint is more complicated. Kids can bring paint to decorate each other before the game, but they must make sure the paint is not spilled or dumped on other people.
Principal Lake said, “I have allowed [paint] in the past couple of years, but I had people recently come to me and kinda make a pretty good case for why we shouldn’t be doing it.” He also stated about crowd surfing: “It’s a safety issue, somebody could easily be dropped. That’s a pretty hard fall while crowd surfing. I would never want somebody to crowd surf out of peer pressure or because somebody forced them or just picked them up.”
Kids understand why Caledonia doesn’t crowd surf, but some ask why this rule was made now when students have been doing this for years. Principal Lake believed this particular ban originated in Hudsonville and since then has spread to other
I have allowed [paint] in the past couple of years, but I had people recently come to me and kinda make a pretty good case for why we shouldn’t be doing it.”
— Principal Lake
He also mentioned that most college campuses have the same rules — no paint, no powder, no crowd surfing — saying there is good reason for it and our school shouldn’t be different.
Students have mixed opinions about student section rules. Some think it’s taking away freedoms of expression and fun activity, others are fine with the ban saying they no longer have to be worried for their clothing and health.
Are there more ways to create a safe fun environment at Caledonia football games? Will there be any other changes in the future? It’s up to what the kids do next and the flexibility school administrators.