Justice Done or Harmless Fun?

Eric Hong and Vrinda Chauhan

PRO | Keiran Viswam, a senior at Ayala High School, landed himself in hot water after he took off his shirt and pants and danced half-naked during the senior rally class competition on April 25. AHS administration deemed his actions provocative and promptly revoked many of his senior-year privileges, including walking at graduation, prom, Grad Nite, and the senior breakfast. Upon hearing this, many students began protesting to relieve Viswam of the supposed over-penalization. However, these students do not realize that they are petitioning against consequences that Viswam rightfully deserves.

Many protestors say that Viswam’s actions were “harmless fun” and that the consequences he received were completely unreasonable. Although dancing in compression shorts did not cause any physical harm to other students, it was not completely innocuous. Viswam’s foolhardy decision is likely to have greatly tarnished the school’s reputation. To make matters worse, parents, teachers, and the mayor of Chino Hills were present at the rally. Running the risk of branding the school as immature is something that cannot be excused with a mere three-day suspension. Viswam did not only risk offending members of the audience through his provocative gesture, he was putting Ayala’s public image on the line, especially in the presence of a higher authority figure.
Viswam’s only intent may have been to entertain the crowd, but there certainly must have been a smarter alternative. Many students agree that it was imprudent of Viswam to take such actions and that he should have known better. According to students at Ayala, administration had constantly been reminding the seniors not to misbehave during their final weeks of high school. However, despite administration’s clear warnings, Viswam decided to go directly against them, which led to his well-deserved consequences. 

Did Keiran Viswam deserve his punishments?

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Contrary to what many of Viswam’s supporters believe, being a teenager is not a valid excuse to dismiss misbehavior. True, it is much easier to make rash decisions during adolescence, but Viswam went out on a limb to break the rules. His will to incite excitement among his fellow classmates is indeed understandable, but the approach Viswam took in order to do so is unacceptable.


CON | Senior year is commonly regarded as a golden proximity: a time to relax, relieve stress, and  contract senioritis. With graduation right around the corner, many seniors take this as their opportunity to do something reckless and have a final adrenaline rush.

One such student is Ruben S. Ayala High School senior KeiranViswam, who, in the heat of the moment during a performance in the school rally, stripped down to a pair of compression shorts and began dancing.  As a consequence, the Ayala administration revoked his privileges to prom, senior breakfast, Grad Nite, and even his walking privilege during graduation. Though Viswam’s actions were in no way acceptable, these harsh punishments outweigh the severity of his actions. Viswam, along with all other seniors, have worked hard four long years to graduate. Thus, taking some of his last moments as a senior seems downright callous.

Revoking every last chance for a senior to enjoy himself with their graduating class over a harmless prank is extremely austere. While Viswam should not be let off the hook, it is ridiculous to take away a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Instead, Viswam should face punishments that do not pertain to his graduation activities, such as detention or suspension. Though his grade level should not be the reason that his punishments are lessened, the administration should take into consideration that after all, this is Viswam’s last year, and perhaps give him another chance.

Additionally, clothing such as the compression shorts Viswam sported, is commonly worn by members of the dance team, water polo, and other athletic teams. Students participating in such activities are certainly allowed to graduate—so why not Viswam? After all, they expose just as much, if not more skin than Viswam did.

Moreover, his inoffensive zeal harmed no one, and though taking one’s shirt off may be against the school’s policy, it is time for the administration to overlook past policies into Viswam’s intent. He simply wanted to create another warm memory before graduating.

All in all, the administration is being ridiculous in this ruling, considering that Viswam’s last and most memorable high school days will be tarnished. They should take back Viswam’s harsh punishment because he never intended to do any harm to the school.