PIT Crew hosts first ever accessible Homecoming Dance

Senior+Alfonso+Troconis+dances+the+night+away+with+senior+Harvey+Troconis.+Some+of+the+most+popular+music+played+at+the+dance+was+Kidz+Bop.
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PIT Crew hosts first ever accessible Homecoming Dance

Senior Alfonso Troconis dances the night away with senior Harvey Troconis. Some of the most popular music played at the dance was Kidz Bop.

Senior Alfonso Troconis dances the night away with senior Harvey Troconis. Some of the most popular music played at the dance was Kidz Bop.

Carrlee Crocker

Senior Alfonso Troconis dances the night away with senior Harvey Troconis. Some of the most popular music played at the dance was Kidz Bop.

Carrlee Crocker

Carrlee Crocker

Senior Alfonso Troconis dances the night away with senior Harvey Troconis. Some of the most popular music played at the dance was Kidz Bop.

By Aurora Jimenez Castro, Lake Brantley High School

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Neon lights, top 40 hits, crows of teenagers and dark closed quarters. These elements are what make school dances, such as homecoming, memorable. However, for a faction of students, this environment is entirely inaccessible. The music is too loud, the crowds too rowdy, the strobe lights frightening. Students in PIT crews have taken notice of the lack of accessibility in these spaces and decided to undertake a massive project.

Pit Crew started just three years ago, spearheaded by Language Arts teacher and ESE specialist Peggy Leis. PIT stands for Patriot Inclusion Team, the class aims at creating an environment where special needs students become integrated with the traditional school environment.

Senior Carrlee Crocker, has been a part of the class since it started. Crocker, along with her team members, took note of the lack of inclusion within homecoming. The often boisterous dance is the polar opposite of the controlled environment PIT Crew provides however students in the class are working hard on developing a new kind of dance.

“We are starting by making sure the lights in the community room are fully lit, and the music is low volume to accommodate for the needs of all the kids we work with.” Crocker said, “The theme is the same as the overall school-wide dance to make sure it feels apart of the school.”

Leis has put full trust in her students, even crediting both Crocker and senior, Claire Wisth for coming up with the idea to create an inclusive homecoming. With the help of volunteers and other team members in the class everything from playlist songs, Kidz Bop is a favorite, to food is being adjusted to fit the needs of all students.

“With the PIT Crew I had two years ago we did some alternate parties before, a Halloween party, a Christmas party, it was all student driven,” Leis said. “There are teens out there who, if given a platform, give themselves to serve other people. I think if we can make better kids now, they will turn into better adults. I want other people to see that it is worthwhile to step out of your comfort zone and do things for other people.”

The dance took place October 19th, early into the evening for the comfort of all the dance goers. After all the planning and adjustments the dance was a success. Volunteers helped set up decorations and food, while students and their families danced and played games. All of the students in PIT want to reiterate that this dance is still a homecoming dance, one that has come a long way.

“Our goal is to always be fully inclusive,” Crocker said, “Many of them have never been to a homecoming, I would say that homecoming is part of the high school experience that everyone deserves to be apart of.”

This story was originally published on The Brantley Banner on November 7, 2019.