Dr. Jennifer Rukstad, principal, announced during first period Friday, Aug. 31 students could not bring flour, powdered sugar or any other white powdery substance, even “cream of tartar,” to the football game that evening; however, some students didn’t heed her words.
During the first quarter against De Smet, RBHS students sitting with BruCrew brought bags of flour into the stands and released them into the air.
“There was a lot of talk all week long about, ‘We’re not going to do this’,” said Dr. Rukstad, who will meet with fellow administrators to discuss how they will handle the incident. “You know, we don’t understand why they did it. It kind of seemed pretty pointless, but they did it anyway. I think it was just like a, ‘But we really want to.’ I mean, that’s a lot of the arguments we were getting this week when we were trying to nip it in the bud this week. When it came down to it, it was just, ‘Well, we really want to.’ That’s, like, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”
More than 350 students clad in white were in the section where BruCrew’s leaders stood near the front. Those leaders said they were frustrated some of their peers had brought the baking ingredients into the stands.
“We didn’t condone it, and we’re not going to comment on it.”
Although the band sat far from the BruCrew, senior drum major Matt Luke of the Emerald Regiment was particularly disappointed to see the release of flour in light of what happened last November. At a football game last fall, BruCrew unleashed flour throughout the stands and it drifted onto band instruments, which caused some band members to have to clean their instruments before they could play.
“I wasn’t nearly as frustrated as last time when it really affected us,” Luke said, “but I was certainly a bit, I guess, heartbroken that they really care that little.”
A student leader himself, Luke said he realizes how difficult it can be to control the behavior of individual students when trying to manage the group as a whole.
“I’m not sure the level of control [BruCrew student leaders] had in that situation or if they were even taking part. They may not have been,” Luke said. “But, if they were, then that’s just insane to me that an organization that is structured with student leaders that should pride themselves on their leadership qualities, would resort to [throwing flour] again.”
Following what Dr. Rukstad called last year’s “colossal failure” with flour, she said she talked with BruCrew leadership throughout the week about ways to prevent negative behavior from RBHS’ students in the stands.
“Last year, just the [damage to] delicate parts of each instrument, that was unacceptable. And I was a bit shocked,” Luke said. “And I gave them the benefit of the doubt. We gave them the benefit of the doubt because it was an issue that they may not have known about, and I understood that.”
For freshman Paterson Hibdon, being a member of BruCrew is about “having fun, trying to be part of the school [and] school spirit.” He said the flour incident Friday was just a way for students to let loose and enjoy themselves.
“It’s pretty fun,” Hibdon said. “It’s against the rules, but you can’t always listen to those. I mean, it’s fun.”
The solution to issues such as throwing flour at a football game is not always as cut and dry as it may seem with a number of perspectives and outcomes to consider.
“Honestly, I don’t know what they could do to cause suitable repercussions that wouldn’t seem like overkill,” Luke said. “But I certainly do think something needs to be done, or at least said in great detail and emphasis about this so it doesn’t happen again, and they get the point that it should not be happening in the first place.”
What do you think should happen next?