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Playing the field: King seniors skip skip day for on-campus fun

Posted at 6:54 PM, Mar 06, 2020

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — For years it's been a tradition for high school seniors to skip school on the Friday before Spring Break.

But some King High School seniors put a different spin on the tradition this year.

Instead of hitting the beach, they decided to host a field day.

Special Education Department Chair and part-time Assistant Principal April Mayberry said student council members came up with the idea on their own.

"They asked," she said. "They came to us and asked if we would do it. We went to our principal, and she thought it was a great idea."

Mayberry said the event was surprisingly popular.

"I'm sure there's not every senior out here," she said. "I was surprised. I didn't expect this many kids. We had about 100. They're here and that's all we can ask for."

King High School Senior Council President Juviane Nazareno helped to make the field day happen for her classmates.

She said seniors losing a classmate their sophomore year, and losing Je'Sani Smith on an unofficial holiday for students last year inspired them to host a safe, fun event.

Smith died on a day in which lower-classmen were in school during standardized testing.

"Going into my senior year this year I was like, 'I do not want to lose anybody," she said. "It felt like we were losing a lot of our Mustangs, and it's just really heartbreaking, so i was like 'I refuse for it to happen to us.' So I really wanted to push for this event to happen so that we can ensure safety."

They handed out bracelets reminding students to be safe over the break. The bracelets, which have beach safety tips, were created by Smith's parents. The King High School student was swept away by a rip current and drowned last April.

"We want them to be aware." Mayberry said. "I mean they're going to go out and enjoy their week and we want them to know to stay safe. Come back and see us on Monday."

The event was planned by Nazareno and her classmate to give seniors a way to soak up their last months together. There were snow cones, yard games, karaoke and emotional-support dogs.