The Sheboygan Taboo

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The Sheboygan Taboo

Invite Only-The Spring formal invite serves as an entrance ticket into the dance.

Invite Only-The Spring formal invite serves as an entrance ticket into the dance.

Invite Only-The Spring formal invite serves as an entrance ticket into the dance.

Invite Only-The Spring formal invite serves as an entrance ticket into the dance.

Jacob Rice, Writer

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Twice a year, every year, hundreds of students flock to an ever-changing location to partake in the Sheboygan taboo: Formal. This night consists of the same three things every year. Eating, dancing, and drinking.

These dances originally started as extremely elitist, formal events, where only a very select group of people would be invited similar to a debutante ball. However, this is nothing like the “formals” of today, where it seems that the influence of drugs and alcohol grow greater and greater with each passing year. For instance, according to former Head Hostess Madisyn Riste, at the past winter formal,

“We thought we were prepared, and we put on all of the invites that there would be no drinking tolerated, but then at the dinner some students showed up wasted already. The bad stuff started happening about 20 minutes in, when the first girl started puking, and there was probably six or seven more girls like that throughout the night. All we did was herd them into the bathroom, and make them wait until their parents came.”

As far as law enforcement goes, not much action has been taken. At Winter Formal there were some men in uniforms, and Riste said,

“They’re rent-a-cops, so technically they can’t arrest people, but they can call the real cops and hold you until the real cops come.”

In other words, they were really only there for show and not much else.

Invite Only-This Spring formal invite serves as an entrance ticket into the dance.

This year’s spring formal will be held at the Amore Banquet Hall in Plymouth and is being run by Head Hostesses South Senior Mackenzie Linger and a North Senior. The invites are already out, and this Formal’s attendance will make it one of the biggest yet, with over 400 expected attendees.

When asked about her opinion of formal, Linger said,

“Personally, I am not a fan of formal. The only reason that I took the job as Head Hostess for South was so I could make sure that things go smoothly. It doesn’t help that this is spring formal, where the seniors get sloppier and drink even more because they know it is their last dance. The other head hostess doesn’t want to make the drunk kids call their parents, so for this formal we had to hire a chauffeur to get them home.”

Although it is relatively rare for the schools to get involved with what happens at Formal, when word makes it to the people in power, action is taken. Activities Director Chris Hein told of a past experience where he,

“Had to suspend a student-athlete because we had found that the student had showed up to formal drunk and was turned away.”

Despite all of the issues that have happened in the past it is unlikely that much will change. South High Police Liaison Officer Tim Eirich said,

“Our biggest problem is probably the parents. They’re the ones that are pretty much allowing this to happen. They’re the ones that pretty much run the formal. They’re chaperoning, and they’re allowing it. Until that attitude changes, or, if I’m being honest,  until someone really gets hurt or even killed, nothing is going to change.”

It is time for all of Sheboygan to take a good hard look in the mirror, and learn that just because something is a tradition, does not make that tradition right. The blatant amount of underage drinking is something that needs to be addressed immediately, before a student does get hurt or killed. So this year, before putting on your heels or buttoning up your shirt, ask yourself if you are really doing what is right? And, if you still do decide to go, be safe.