The Rock: A brief history of an Islander tradition. - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Islander Times News

The Rock: A brief history of an Islander tradition.

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Posted: Friday, May 30, 2014 4:44 pm

Perhaps the longest-standing Islander tradition comes in the simplest of objects: a two-ton rock. The Rock has seen countless advertisements, sports games, class rivalries, and prom-posals. It is a simple way for students to convey their school spirit, in a manner that is interesting both to the student body and the staff at Coronado High School. Many schools would be uncomfortable with the idea of students coming armed with spray paint to graffiti a boulder located on campus, typically in the middle of the night, but the CHS staff trusts its students to respect The Rock and its long history.

The roots of Coronado High School's Rock, according to the San Diego Union Tribune, are attributed to Jeff Brummitt, Gary Anderson, Dan Stacy, Lee Hinkle, and various other 1973 graduates. They allegedly drove to Jamul and gave quarry owners $15 for a boulder, which they hoped to use to rival the senior class by dumping it on the senior lawn before the 1972 graduation. The then-juniors could not have foreseen what a colossal tradition The Rock would create.

"Over the years, The Rock has been a meeting place for before school, after school, on the way to pep rallies…anything you can imagine. As a sophomore, I remember seeing the rivalry between seniors and juniors near the end of the year, spray painting it back and forth to support their class," says Senior Brooke Lindee.

Though painting The Rock is technically illegal, the CHS administration turns a blind eye to the messages that appear overnight. Not only is The Rock a way to support Islander pride for school events and individualism, it is also a way for the student body and staff at CHS to establish a level of trust. "The Rock is a long-standing symbol of student expression on campus. Its been here as long as me," says CHS Principal and 1989 graduate Jenny Moore. The tradition stays alive as long as the students respect its boundaries: offensive messages regarding other students, political figures, staff, or general negative ideas painted on The Rock are not tolerated, and are to be followed by formal apologies. Senior Abigail Callahan attests, "I think The Rock is a great way for students to show their expression without vandalism."

The Rock will be forever remembered by graduating and present-day CHS students, even if its messages are layered and painted over and over again. It is a unique tradition that promotes student expression, tolerance, and a reminder that adults remember what it was like to be a high school student with a voice.

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