Rachel Bradley, Nicole Liggiero and other 8th graders at the Wynn Middle School don't feel like they are asking for a lot. They just want their dance back.
Specifically, they are hoping school officials reverse a decision to change the traditional 8th Grade end-of-the-year celebration from a semi-formal to a "Tie-Dye" dance.
Rachel said she first heard rumors about the change a month ago. The rumors were conformed when a school-wide e-mail went out a few weeks later.
"It's just really disappointing," she said. "(The Semi-Formal) is pretty important to us. It's been a tradition for so many years. We love to get dressed up -- all the sparkly clothing."
Nicole, whose two older sisters both attended Wynn 8th Grade semi-formals, said she was upset because her class had already lost out on a semi-formal last year, when it was switched to a "Neon" Dance.
"It was shocking, really," she said. "We didn't get our seventh-grade semi-formal last year and now we're not getting it this year."
Rather than just complain about the school's decision, the girls decided to try and do something about it, with Rachel taking the lead. She reached out to Wynn Middle School Principal John Weir and the Wynn Parent Advisory Council, which sponsors the dance.
Here e-mail to the PAC read, in part:
"Semi is the end of the year dance that I have looked forward to since 5th grade when my older cousin had Semi. Semi is the last dance that EVERYONE is together. Semi in a way is like senior prom, not in the dresses or clothing, but in a way that it is the last dance before people go to different high schools. Me, being one of the children who have applied to different high schools, makes me upset. This was going to be our last big dance. Semi has been in this town for years, along with many other towns across the country. I am not a begger, but I am begging that we have our semi back."
In response, the PAC has agreed to discuss the dance at their meeting on Thursday, Jan. 17. The council also plans to put together a committee to discuss and go over plans for the dance.
Allison Bradley, Rachel's mother, said she fully supports her daughter's efforts.
"I'm just so proud of her for standing up for something she believes in," said Bradley.
Rachel had a chance to talk briefly with Weir. She said he indicated he had hoped a tie-dye dance would be part of a larger, end-of-the-year celebration that would include all 8th graders, whether they intended to go to the dance at night or not. Reached by phone, he said he'd be happy to talk about the dance and the end-of-the-year celebration once the PAC has had a chance to meet Thursday night.