It's been customary, for all the years I've been at my current school, for the upperclasses to periodically shout "go home freshmen (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap)" at rallies. We have a very mild school--no freshman hazing--and most seemed to think it good, harmless fun. At most, it was a relatively painless rite of passage.
This year, though, our 2nd-year principal has decided that our rallies, and indeed our entire school, will be places where everyone can feel welcome. Before last Friday's Back To School Rally, he got on the PA system and reminded students that such chants weren't going to happen. Students had already been told that if such chants occurred, he'd stop the rally immediately, and the remainder of the time might involve sitting in the bleachers listening to him explain why that behavior is inappropriate at our school.
The rally went off without a hitch.
Today, however, some of my students, especially sophomores, mentioned how upset they were that the principal was taking away one of their "traditions". Sensing a teaching moment, I momentarily indulged their discussion.
Then I explained that it's ok to disagree with the boss' decision, but he's the guy in charge, and it's his decision to make. And if you really don't like the decision, is this a situation over which you're willing to fall on your sword? If it's not, just move on and accept it. No one thought this was sword-falling territory, like a school uniform would be, so the conversation dwindled quickly and we got back to math.
One crisis down.