Ah, the homecoming dance. A tradition that I become increasingly glad was not a tradition at my high school...and a tradition that makes me dread ever having children.
First, the backstory. The ASB (Student Council) advisor was out of town at her best friend's wedding this weekend, so the ASB was in charge of putting the last-minute things together on their own. They haven't been doing a great job of this.
So....first of all. We got to the dance about half an hour early and I was able to claim the job of coat-check girl, meaning I don't have to watch the kids booty-bump. The kids looked nice (for the most part) in their dress clothes and things were going along pretty well for about an hour.
But.....the ASB officers had neglected to do one very important thing - getting police officers to work the dance. In addition, of the two security guards that work at school, only one showed up. And of the three principals, one had a sick kid, one didn't come for some reason, and that left only one to work the dance. So, if you are keeping track, that means one principal and one security officer to regulate 500 kids. There were about 10 teacher chaperones or so, but due to the number of doors, that wasn't quite enough.
So about an hour into the dance, three teachers come looking for the principal...it turns out that someone has managed to slip upstairs and prop open a door to the outside, and there are about 15 junior high kids running around on the third floor. Administration heads upstairs and chases the kids around for about an hour, but they can't catch them. On the other hand, the door is now shut and the kids can't get out either.
Meanwhile, back in the coatcheck department, the kids keep shedding layers as the inside temperature heats up, and it makes it quite annoying to go back and forth constantly. The girls also shed their shoes and the guys shed their jackets and shirts...oddly enough mostly retaining their ties.
As it gets closer to midnight, when the dance ends, the kids start picking up their stuff. From past dances, I know that when the dj stops playing, the kids attack the coatcheck room like a ravenous horde of whiny monkeys, so we started to attempt to corral them into some kind of line while they retrieved their stuff...which involves tickets and giant blue IKEA bags. As it gets closer to midnight, the lights come on, and more kids start swarming around - mostly ignoring the line instructions - and then it hits midnight and it has descended into almost total chaos, with kids demanding their stuff RIGHT NOW since their mom/dad/brother is waiting outside and oh wait, they lost their ticket, but they just had a black jacket (!!) and silver shoes and why can't someone just FIND IT.
And that is when the aforementioned junior high troublemakers pull the fire alarm.
The principal comes in and says to shut the door, get all the kids out of the building. Oh yeah, I forgot to say...it's about 40 degrees outside. Remember all those kids who took their shoes off? Shutting the door to the coat check room was not a popular move. The door was not locked, so the kids kept pulling it open while I tried to keep it shut. It was somewhat difficult, since on my side, there was only a crash bar, not a handle. The other chaperones finally force the kids outside while the principal gets on the phone to the alarm company and 911. 911 tells him to turn the alarm off, since they can tell that it was pulled, and there's not actually a fire in the building. And that's when the fire department arrives.
The fire department tells the principal he should not have turned the alarm off. Meanwhile, the parents arriving outside to pick up their kids from the dance are greeted by the site of 250 teenagers outside without coats, and the flashing lights of a firetruck. So let's go ahead and add freaked-out parents into the mix.
The firefighters quickly leave, and the principal decides that the kids don't get to come back in, that the chaperones will take the kids tickets and bring out their stuff to them. This takes about 20 minutes and isn't complete without the requisite irritated parents...
We finally get all the kids stuff returned, except for about 4 bags that went unclaimed for some reason after all the kids had dispersed and I left around 12:45
BEST HOMECOMING EVER.