2023 Senior Ditch Day recap


As the school year comes to a close, so does the secondary schooling of the Class of 2023. Along with various school-sanctioned traditions comes the unsanctioned Senior Ditch Day, a long-standing emblem of popular culture. It is influenced heavily by the romanticization of truancy in media, such as the 1986 film, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” with the tradition passed down throughout the generational lineage of high school seniors.

 On Monday, May 15, 2023, FHS’s graduating class, the Class of 2023, upheld this tradition. Though no official place for ditching seniors to gather, many opted to take a beach day and go to Santa Cruz, including FHS senior Jonathan Seis.

 “We went to the water, played volleyball and walked around in the sand,” Seis said. “We kind of just hung out and then had a bonfire at the end of the day.”

Others such as FHS senior Harika Chandrasekhar chose to stay local, watching the new “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3” film in Santana Row with friends.

“Overall it was really fun,” Chandrasekhar said. “We also got boba afterwards.”

For the most part, FHS staff play along with the tradition. Many teachers opt to take the delinquencies in good humor, adjusting class plans to accommodate them.

“All the teachers have been really supportive about it,” Seis said. 

Even still, some students chose to come to school; for some because school is a refuge, and for others who are struggling to graduate — a necessity.

“I feel a lot more free in schools than in my home,” FHS Senior Andrew Xu said.

FHS English teacher Patricia Dalton provided some detail on the challenges some students face.

“Some students have to come,” Dalton said. “They are struggling, they are trying to do everything they can to graduate. So, for those students, they know they have to be here.”

Many see the day as a gesture of defiance against authority, but it is also a celebration of achievement, a sentiment accepted by Dalton.

“I don’t want to use the phrase ‘rite of passage’ because that seems a little antiquated,” Dalton said. “But to have an opportunity to get together with your class as a whole and acknowledge how far you’ve come in those four years, whether it’s academically or otherwise, I think that’s important.”