At every homecoming assembly a group of senior men gathers and dresses up as women, mimicking the Poms team in performance. This group is named the JV Poms . This has been a tradition for a long time; however last year they pushed boundaries of appropriateness.
“It’s about having a middle line. We want kids to have fun and enjoy displaying Fairview,” said Lisa Navarre, social studies teacher, “but we also don’t want to cross the line into being offensive, especially towards the Poms themselves.”
Portraying girls in a scantily dressed and stereotypical image is extremely demeaning, especially for freshmen seeing this for the first time, who don’t know the tradition behind it. Right now as it is, the JV Poms mocks women.
“I think it’s very demeaning,” said Principal Don Stensrud, “we can’t say we are an inclusive school and not be inclusive all the time.”
Changing tradition is hard, especially with something like the JV Poms that is rooted so deeply into Fairview spirit, but it is something that has to be done if we want to be an inclusive school.
“I think that the JV Poms should be expressed differently and in a way that is not offensive to anyone,” said Navarre, “perhaps we could change the tradition slightly?”
Making a change in the JV Poms doesn’t mean that the tradition will go away or become less entertaining, it might even do the opposite. If JV Poms becomes something of a more positive experience for the whole school, it could create school unity and include everyone to make a better Fairview.
“Make it more presentable,” said Stensrud, “maybe break the boys up into teams and give them a time limit. Make it structured and make it boys vs a group of boys.”
Instead of keeping a tradition of mocking the Poms, and women in general, making the JV Poms into a competition where the men actually try to out dance, not out stereotype, each other could be beneficial to the enjoyment of the audience and the image of the school.