WL: School rules and high school trouble reminced

Everyone has different high school experiences.

Some students played several sports, lettering a dozen times.

Some students never went to a football game, or if they did, they spent the game smoking cigarettes behind the bleachers.

One thing remains constant no matter your generation: graduating. But getting in trouble was sometimes part of the process.

So what are the myriad of things teenagers have done to get into trouble in high school?

Several Grand Valley residents spoke about their high school experiences or the issues and problems high-schoolers struggled with.

Some people, when asked about high school were less than willing to share stories. Most people “never got in trouble.”

What is your lingering memory from high school?

Go to http://www.GJSentinel.com/features to post your thoughts. Don’t forget to include where you grew up and when you graduated.

St. Paul (Minn.) Central High School class of 1947

“I got kicked out of typing for not cutting my nails,” Marcy Radosevich said, showing off her polished and strong fingernails. “I typed 30 words a minute, but I couldn’t progress because of my nails.”

Her typing teacher told her to either cut her fingernails during Christmas break or not to return to class for second semester.

“I picked up some other class,” Radosevich said. “I wouldn’t cut my nails. My mother didn’t know, or she would have made me cut my nails ... She could type 80 words a minute.”

Additionally, Radosevich was “on occasion” sent to seventh period, which was sort of like detention.

Radosevich didn’t want to divulge why, though, because her children still don’t know all her stories from high school.

There were no “beer parties” or “skirts above the knees or pants” at her high school and teen pregnancy was not common, she said.

In a school of nearly 2,000 students in metropolitan St. Paul, there was one girl who got pregnant and moved to Chicago, she said.

“And that was a rumor,” Radosevich said.

Plateau Valley High School class of 2007

No teen pregnancy?

Makala Mumby couldn’t believe her ears when Marcy Radosevich said that out loud.

Mumby was at Radosevich’s apartment at The Commons when Radosevich mentioned that.

Mumby, who helps care for residents at The Commons, went to a smaller high school, but she knew of several girls who got pregnant during those years and several more who had children a year after graduating.

Drug and alcohol use were problems at the school, Mumby said, but her troubles came with the dress code.

“We got in trouble for shorts being too short, showing our midriffs or shirts being too low-cut,” Mumby said.

The last one was the lingering problem for Mumby, she said.

Wheat Ridge High School class of 1976

Paul Harshman, who was playing live music at the Hot Tomato Café on a recent Wednesday evening, said he was enrolled at Grand Junction High School before transferring to Wheat Ridge where he graduated.

But “pretty much the same things” were on the minds of high-schoolers at either school: smoking pot on school grounds and stashing drugs in lockers.

The students cared about the Vietnam War and paid attention to social issues in the country, he said.

“I usually got in trouble for ditching school,” Harshman said. “The no-show thing was the biggest deal.”

The students had physical fights at school in the 1970s. However, “it’s important to note that when people got in fights, you weren’t scared someone would pull a gun,” Harshman said.

Delta High School class of 1947

Tom Harshman was sitting at a table listening to his son play guitar while remembering his own days as a multi-sport athlete at Delta.

“I never got in trouble,” Harshman said.

“I believe it,” his son Paul Harshman said.

“The class I was in was a real clean class,” Tom Harshman said. “The girls mostly wore skirts knee-high with white bobby socks and shoes. They’d wear slacks, but that was a weekend sort of thing — very modest.”

Harshman was a fullback on the football team and a reserve guard on Delta’s 1945 state championship basketball team. He remembered a fierce rivalry with Grand Junction High School in the 1940s.

What was Harshman worried about in Delta in the late 1940s?

“The next football game, I guess,” he said.

Grand Junction High School class of 1965

“I was a good person. I was one of those who was so afraid my mother would clobber me,” Susan Potts said.

But she remembers plenty of things you could get in trouble for when she was in high school, such as short skirts.

“When we knelt on the floor, the skirt had to touch the floor,” she said.

Some girls tried to get away with shorter skirts by rolling them up at the waist. Their waists were 6 inches wider, but at least they had short skirts, Potts said.

Girls couldn’t wear jeans to school and pants were acceptable only when going on a field trip, she said.

Spaghetti straps, even tank tops, were a no-no without a jacket over them.

“Boys had to wear a belt. If they didn’t wear one, they had to go home and get one,” Potts said.

If a teacher caught you passing a note, you had to stand up and read it to the class. Imagine doing that with text messages today, she said.

“The thing I got in trouble for was I liked to talk,” Potts said.

She once had to sit in the principal’s office for two weeks during one class hour because of her talking, she said.

“They had a little bench, and you just had to sit there for the entire time you would have been in class,” Potts said. “But anybody who knows me will know I was talking.”

“I got thrown in the mortuary pond once, but that wasn’t because I got in trouble at school,” Potts said.

Another girl thought Potts was flirting with her boyfriend and pushed Potts in for a swim.

The Martin’s Mortuary pond, which used to extend all the way back to Glenwood Avenue, “was yucko.”

Grand Junction High School class of 1970

Tom Peeso was an angel in high school.

Insubordination, mouthing off ... he doesn’t know anything about those things.

You could get into trouble for throwing pencils at the ceiling in the lunch room during study hall, he said. It was a real high ceiling, and there was an art to it.

“I didn’t do it because I couldn’t afford to buy extra pencils,” Peeso said with a straight face, of course.

Those who got caught, some friends of his perhaps, had to knock the pencils down with a stick.

“Drinking beer at lunch was a no-no, too,” Peeso said. Must have been those no-good friends, again.

Peeso remembers a guy who came to class after catching a smoke across the street from the school.

“He came in and his pocket was smoking,” Peeso said.

The cigarette butt, which the guy had apparently been trying to save, burned a hole in his pocket and disrupted class. He was sent home.

“I never got caught at anything,” Peeso maintained.

Those who did got detention or a swat with an infamous inch-thick paddle.

“It really was extraordinary,” Peeso said of the paddle’s impact. “It was a feeling you never forgot.”

Not that he would know how it felt. Not him. No siree.

(“He was the one who organized the woodies then,” said Susan Potts, Peeso’s sister. She didn’t find that out until later, though.)






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