Student outrage following the cancellation of the Sadie’s dance leads to rescheduling


Urva Jha

EHS students enter the homecoming dance earlier this year

Urva Jha, section editor

After weeks of rumors surrounding the uncertainty of future dances at Edina High School following homecoming, students at EHS received an email two weeks ago from the administration, confirming the cancellation of the Sadie’s dance. Though a lot has changed since then—as the dance is back on—the news united many students, upset with how much COVID had taken away from their high school experience.

Noticing the lack of compliance with COVID protocol during homecoming—students frequently taking off masks indoors and underclassmen lacking the proper social skills for a dance—the cancellation did not come as a shock to many people. What did come as a shock was the abrupt and predetermined nature of the decision.

Upset over the lack of student involvement in the decision, Gabby Lawton started a petition geared towards voicing student opinions on the dance. “I just hoped that everyone wanted to be on the same page. I didn’t really know how many signatures it would get, and it ended up getting over 1,000,” Lawton said. Overwhelmed with support, she met with Principal Andy Beaton, sharing the petition. “I just wanted him to recognize that everybody in our school was almost on the same page [regarding the dance],” Lawton said. “Parents were even committing and getting involved.” 

Following the petition’s support and Lawton’s meeting with Beaton, a second email from administration arrived a day later, explaining Beaton’s willingness to integrate student insight into decisions about the dance. On Nov. 3, students received a Schoology message inviting them to a meeting for a conversation with Beaton, discussing ideas for how to make the dance happen.

The meeting began with Beaton explaining his concerns with COVID safety and what he saw happen at homecoming, followed by his similar concerns with Sadie’s. “It’s kind of like if you had a speed limit in a child zone. And people were never abiding by it. And I just watched it all happen. And I didn’t do anything about it. And I knew that it was going to happen again. And I just let it go,” Beaton said. 

There seemed to be a general consensus among the students and Beaton on the extent to which COVID had derailed their lives, and also how canceling a dance would add to the course. “Everybody is just tired of COVID. They want to get back to normal,” Beaton said. “So based on that public outcry [and the petition], I said well, ‘let’s let’s just keep talking about it.’” And they did. The group’s combination of ideas included a vaccine mandate, splitting up grade levels, having people sign up for time slots, banning mosh pits, and more. 

Due to the surge of ideas and support of the dance, Sadie’s is back on. EHS administration is on the hunt for ideas to make this a safe and enjoyable experience for the students of Edina.