Protect our house: Rivalry sparked by t-shirt design

Plano’s identity is most commonly associated with one word: tradition. As the oldest high school in the city, it has had the chance to develop and hold true to its many rituals and habits. Senior Student Congress chairman Alan Liu decided it would be fitting to design t-shirts for students, staff and alumni to help keep up with school spirit.

Liu designed the shirts and planned to donate the money he raised to Student Congress. The shirts come in packs of three, each shirt displaying quotes promoting the school and its unity. “Tradition over Hype” was a slogan written on one of them, and ended up causing unprecedented controversy.

“The Plano West student body refers to themselves as ‘The Hype’,” Liu said. “I posted a picture on Twitter to advertise the shirts. Some students from West saw that particular shirt as some sort of threat so they began verbally retaliating against them and Plano online.”

With the retorts available for the public to see, students from Plano soon began to feel targeted. Fellow senior Student Congress chairman Sayeef Huq went along with the banter, but does not believe the situation was one that escalated to any great heights.

“It was always lighthearted, nothing violent or anything,” Huq said. “They may have thought we were taking a shot at them, but in reality, it was all just to promote our school spirit. We didn’t want to bash anyone.”

Associate Principal of Facilities and Student Activities Glenn Davis said the administration soon had to step in to keep the schools from getting into a battle of words. At this point, Liu had the choice to either redesign the “Hype” shirt or cancel the entire production completely. The former followed through, and Liu changed the slogan from “Tradition over Hype” to “Protect Our House.”

“We just decided to take the high road on the whole situation,” Huq said. “Other schools like to think of themselves as the top dog, but I think the shirts will still show what they were meant to: that we have the best school spirit.”