PHS remains strong in a forgettable year

This school year has been one for the books – maybe even the record books, maybe even a book that we just put into a shredder. We have had two faculty members unexpectedly pass away, we’ve endured construction, then the bats attacked, and finally we had a political protest.

In October, teacher Leslie Jones passed away unexpectedly. Her passing devastated her students and the faculty. The way the school got through it was the other teachers stepped up and helped keep everything going to make it go as smoothly as possible. One teacher came out of retirement to help a school in mourning.

In this situation, Perry stayed strong.

The construction of the new C-building and the new locker room has caused a little bit of commotion this year. It has affected the traffic flow on the east side of the school near the library.The school had to change traffic flow, a move for the better according to Principal Dan who stated it “Actually turned out to be a good option and we are going to keep it that way. At first getting kids and cars in and kids dropped in the safe zone was a work in progress but we are good there.”

After the start of the construction, another problem manifested when a construction worker pulled the ceiling back and there laid a colony of bats.

The bats caused an uproar in the C-building when they flew  in from the air ducts. This caused students and teachers to scream and run out of their classrooms.

The bats left feces in the ceilings of ten classrooms. This affected the students and teachers because some, but it did not discourage the teachers.

“We quickly acted and found a new place for me to be which is the auditorium pod to teach and it has worked out fine,” English teacher Annette Bashford said.

Over spring break the school managed to get rid of the bats which now makes Perry bat – but not bat-smell – free.

Perry stayed resilient.

To add to all this mess, on Mar. 1 some students were at lunch holding a flag up for spirit day. The students were allegedly being disruptive and were asked to put the flag away. According to multiple reports based on public records, after school when they when asked to leave, they did not comply and decided to argue with the SRO and therefore sent to the principal’s office.

The students and parent took this as a political attack but the school argued that was not the case.

According to the Arizona Republic, the school’s discipline was about the defiance from the students, not about politics. There was a protest the following week across from school where dozens of people, including students and people not associated with the school, claimed that the school was oppressing student’s rights.

Even through this national story, Perry stayed strong.

It has been an odd year, to say the least, but the Puma Nation has stayed together through the good and the bad. While it has been rough, the bond of the Puma Nation remained unbroken, it actually brought a lot of people closer together.