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By Jeff Pack
Staff Writer 

Floats for upcoming homecoming game at Fallbrook High in jeopardy


Last updated 9/11/2019 at 5:57pm

Shane Gibson photo

Fallbrook Union High School homecoming floats like this one, built by the Junior class for last year's homecoming game, are in danger of being nixed from this year's upcoming homecoming celebration.

FALLBROOK - For decades, students at Fallbrook Union High School have spent a significant amount of time after school each fall working on class floats that would be paraded around the track, put on display and judged against floats made by the other classes.

As of Wednesday, Sept. 11, the tradition was in jeopardy of being modified or discontinued altogether, according to FUHS principal Dr. Narciso Iglesias. Fallbrook's homecoming game is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 4.

"At this point in time, our FHS Administration and FHS ASB are working together to either 1. have two traditional floats, built on campus with ample space for supervision and security or 2. find an alternative to floats, with something that may be smaller in scope and size," Dr. Iglesias wrote in an email distributed to school staff and families.

The principal said they are working on the solution with the ASB leadership team to come up with a plan that will adhere to liability restrictions.

"I ask our community to honor our ASB leadership students as they process the situation and create their own solutions," Dr. Iglesias wrote. "They are taking ownership of this situation and we should all respect that Homecoming is ultimately for them."

There was no timeline given as to when a decision could be expected.

According to Dr. Iglesias, an issue of liability associated with the floats being built at parent homes or local businesses was brought up by one of the parents who had offered to host the float build.

"The concerns were around liability, which led us to inquire as to the liability for both homeowners and the school," Dr. Iglesias explained. "After consultation with our insurance company, we found the possibility of injury to be a real concern, much less on private property and the exposure to liability that this tradition could potentially expose our parents/guardians to."

Since officially, the float building is a school-sponsored event, in the administration's view, the event would have to be supervised by school personnel. Without saying as much, that would cause another set of problems that come with staffing and staffing at off-campus locations.

"As your principal, I need to and will always prioritize student safety, security, and supervision," Dr. Iglesias wrote. "We are grateful for the support that we receive from our community but will not expose our families to liability."

The reaction on social media from parents and alumni has been strongly in opposition to modifying or doing away with the tradition. Comments ranged from anger geared toward Dr. Iglesias, who just assumed the role of principal last month, to frustration with the parent who first asked the question of liability.

In the heyday of float-building at FUHS, the Associated Student Body, led by Director Bob Burton, ASB Directors from around the country would come to see the floats that each class designed and constructed by hand, built on and around small vehicles. In the 1980s, each member of the homecoming court would sit on one of the floats that would then deliver the homecoming princess to the 50-yard line as she was introduced.

Burton, a nationally-respected ASB Director, would speak at conventions around the country, showcasing the floats made by Fallbrook students.

In recent years, the floats were built on trailers and towed around the field during halftime and students rarely rode on the floats.


Reader Comments

kellyromero writes:

Very sad and disappointing! This is a tradition that has been going on since the 60’s. I definitely think They could have checked into special event Liability insurance or just done the floats on Campus. We still have no answer and with Homecoming Oct 4, there isn’t time to make Decent floats at this point.


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