last minute rule change spoils prom
Monday , July 09, 2012 - 9:31 AM
“The day I ask you to prom is the day that pigs fly.”
It was the day that pigs flew — we had mastered the perfect plan and gotten away with it. We’d been hearing the announcements at school, the posters were hung and everyone was buzzing with talk of day activities, dresses, dates, corsages and more. Prom was coming.
First things first — a date must be asked and who I would ask was a given; my boyfriend and I have been together since I was a sophomore and he was a senior. So my best friend and I pulled out all the bells and whistles for a creative, surprising way in which to ask my boyfriend to the dance. We posted a sign on his bedroom door that said, “The day I ask you to prom is the day that pigs fly!” and then we filled his room with floating pig balloons.
I thought that I had it made for our prom. I didn’t have to worry about my date saying no or bailing, I had a gorgeous dress and everything was falling into place with our group.
You hear horror stories about prom all the time in the news, things about schools in other states not allowing people to go to one of the most seemingly important events of a lifetime for this or that reason. But I never thought that I would have an experience that could ruin my prom night.
Two days before the May dance, I received a text message from a friend saying that our school wouldn’t be allowing dates who were either graduated or over 19 years old to come to the dance, but I just thought it was rumor. According to our school dance policy, I turned in a permission slip with my parents’ and date’s signature. Although it was never enforced, this policy said dates over 20 could not attend dances, and dates who were graduated or attended a different school had to fill out a permission slip.
I never heard anything after turning in the permission slip, so I assumed everything was OK.
The day of the dance we had a day activity and then it was time for everyone to dress up. I had my hair and makeup done and was feeling confident and ready for the amazing night ahead. After pictures and dinner, we headed to Snowbasin for the prom. Upon arriving, I immediately knew there was going to be a problem when I saw many couples leaving, the girls were crying and the guys were just angry.
My date, however, had turned 19 less than a month ago and he had gone to my school; all the administration knew him so surely they couldn’t turn him away. However, that didn’t stop the people in charge from enforcing the rule that was put into effect a short two days before the dance. My date’s ID was not checked; we simply walked up and a teacher who knew he had graduated informed us that because he was already 19, he would not be allowed in. Although a request was made to talk to other administrators to receive more of an explanation, we were never granted the opportunity to talk to anyone else.
Other students were also affected by the rule change, including Seasons Davis, an Ogden High junior, whose date was also refused admission.
“I went into the office a week before prom to pick up my permission slip; I asked the secretary if it would be OK for my date to come and informed her of my date’s age,” Davis said. “I was told that it would be fine. So the day of prom I went and got my hair professionally done and I bought flowers,. Between that and my dress I had spent hundreds. About 9 p.m. we got to Snowbasin and they refused to let us in. Even though I had bought the tickets, spent all that money and even had school and parent permission. It made me really upset and ruined an important part of my junior year of high school.”
Taylor Meeks, a junior at Ogden High, was also told that it would be OK for her date to attend and had parents’ permission
“Once we got to prom we handed over our tickets, then the permission slip,” Meeks said. “They took the slip without any problems, but not even 50 steps into the door we were asked to leave because of the age of my boyfriend. I thought the situation was unorganized; they said we were allowed in and then changed their minds. No other school asks for the age of people’s dates and it isn’t fair that ours does.”
Most students who had a date not allowed to attend the dance simply left, however my group and I had driven up together so it wasn’t really an option to just leave. Although it took me more than an hour of standing outside, crying away my made-up face with my group consoling me, I finally faced my fears and went inside prom alone. I even took a couple of pictures by myself, holding my date’s suit jacket so it was as if he was in the picture with me. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but I knew I would regret it if I didn’t go inside.
Like the Taylor Swift song says, when you’re 15, you’re “hoping one of those senior boys will wink at you and say ‘You know I haven’t seen you around here before.’ ” I was one of those girls who met one of those senior boys, but the thing about senior boys is that they graduate. But there are a lot of high school couples who stay together even when one of them has graduated.
So although I understand the need for placing some age limit on dances, it’s not fair to that girl who becomes a senior and doesn’t get to spend her senior prom with her high school sweetheart.
Caitlynn Kindall will be a senior at Ogden High. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.