Powderpuff isn’t Going Anywhere, Despite Confusion.

If you have been on Snapchat in the last week, chances are you saw a change.org petition with big letters saying “SAVE CHS POWDERPUFF!” 

An instinctual reaction would be to sign right away, after all, Powderpuff is a beloved school game. The long-standing tradition has been around for years, consisting of primarily male students cheering while mostly female students play football.

So, is this our last year with Powderpuff? Short answer – No. There are no plans to cancel or get rid of the event, for this year and in the future.  Dan Ryan has stated that the only way the event could be canceled is if it doesn’t follow the long-standing Admin guidelines, if the district decides we can’t do it, or if the event becomes divisive.

The misinformation stemmed from an email that a group of Student Council members wrote to Admin hoping to get the date of Powderpuff changed so that it didn’t overlap with a home varsity volleyball game. Varsity volleyball is made up of primarily juniors and seniors, which would prevent them from participating in the game. Doubt and frustration involving the future of Powderpuff also came from “continued date changes and the lack of organization regarding the event.” The STUCO email set out to change this. Admin responded to this request and shifted the event to the 22nd, eliminating the conflict with the varsity volleyball game. 

This email also included a lengthy paragraph surrounding the event’s level of inclusivity, specifically about the inclusion of transgender and gender-non-conforming students.  

Following this email, senior Brady Hannon (she/her) then created the petition, which went viral among the student population. Unclear wording led to widespread confusion, especially surrounding whether or not Powderpuff was actually at risk.  The petition included some language that was seen as insensitive to trans people, claiming that Admin was planning on doing away with the event based on fears of exclusivity.  The wording has since been changed  and the petition archived, but some felt it accused trans people of trying to “cancel Powderpuff.”

The petition also stated that Admin isn’t allowing the cheerleaders to wear skirts. In the aforementioned email composed to Admin from Student Council representatives they state, “We’re having trouble understanding why it isn’t okay for our senior cheerleading team to wear skirts and we don’t see that as mocking any gender or gender identity because to us clothes don’t have genders.” Admin has stated that skirts are allowed, so long as they aren’t used in a derogatory or mocking way, per the established Admin policy.

In September of 2021 Juniors Shira Nathan (they/them) and Rowan Ogilvie (he/him) wrote an article about inclusivity in Powderpuff. This piece called for shifts in the event in order to create a more welcoming environment.  They reported that “[To some students] Powderpuff and other gendered structures at school reflect a deeper lack of awareness in our community.” Many trans students felt that powder puff mocked the breaking of gender roles and generally was not a comfortable event to participate for gender-non-conforming students. Hannon has since clarified that she didn’t mean any harm to the LGBQT+ community and absolutely does not support the use of the petition to discriminate against trans students. Admin has not changed any policies regarding inclusivity at Powderpuff.

Since then, student leaders have made changes aimed at a more inclusive Powderpuff, mainly by changing the language on the posters to be gender-neutral. 

Most students who signed the email believe that Powderpuff is an inclusive event. These people feel that it’s “strictly […] a juniors vs. seniors event.” They claim that this event is meant to bring people together, something all of us have struggled with because of COVID and believe that it shouldn’t be an event that has anything to do with gender. “The early morning practices leading up to the game, the wholesome class rivalries, and watching our friends compete in the game has always been a source of joy for us,” Powerpuff participants wrote. 

Student Council and Admin worked hard to resolve this matter. Student representatives met with Admin, and the wording of the petition was changed and a clarifying statement was added by Hannon, proclaiming “DO NOT sign this petition if you don’t support ALL of our Centaurus students regardless of identity.” 

While the impact was not ideal, the intention of the student leaders was never to harm or blame LGBTQ+ students. In fact, it was quite the opposite: leaders wanted to assure people that Powderpuff should be an inclusive event and anyone is welcome to participate.  

If all you take away from this article is one thing, let it be this: Powderpuff is here to stay for the foreseeable future. 


Can’t wait to see you at the game Warriors!