Prom season can send shivers – of either the good or bad variety – up the spine. A lot of it depends on how you feel about corsages, up-dos, and awkward conversation. Sometimes, it depends on whether you’re FOX News or CNN. In rare instances, it depends on whether you like strapless dresses.
While you’ve probably read enough already about the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, lovingly dubbed Nerd Prom, and you better have read The Broad Side‘s piece on the sin of strapless dresses, we’re here to present you with the rest of the hard-hitting prom news you might otherwise have missed, in “6 Things You Need to Know Right Now!”
1. Viral Video Prompts Change in Policy. A Kansas high-schooler wanted her older brother to escort her to the prom. That brother is a member of the Air Force. The Liberal High School principal told the siblings that their plans violated the school’s age restrictions on who could participate in prom activities. Apparently, Liberal High’s prom includes a walk down a red carpet, which ends at the entrance to the dance hall. Courtney Widener wanted her brother, Casey, to walk the runway with her, and that’s when they came head-to-head with the school’s ban on adults over 21 attending the dance. Courtney posted a video on YouTube complaining about what became her unescorted walk, and the public outcry prompted an apology from the school and a policy change. The school board is now poised to allow those over 21 to walk a high-schooler down the red carpet, though they still woudn’t attend the dance. Either way, this might be Exhibit A in the case of “Taking The Prom Way Too Seriously.” (And FYI, Liberal is the name of the town, not a nod to any political leanings!)
2. School Hosts Prom, Just Not on the Right Date. One California high school told its students there would be a prom. The school just couldn’t manage to get the date right. The invitations mistakenly listed a date in April for the event, but the actual plans were for a date in May. The students were none the wiser, and so they appeared at the venue on incorrect April date. They ended up eating chicken strips and dancing to music from someone’s laptop. Talk about all dressed up with nowhere to go.
3. Check Your Calendars – This Really is 2013. Wilcox County, Georgia saw its first racially integrated prom last weekend. Yes, the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964. And, yes, this is 2013. True, Wilcox County schools didn’t host the previously segregated proms; they were “private parties” sponsored by students’ families. Thanks to a Facebook campaign, though, energies were directed and funds were raised towards a formal – and integrated – prom. I’m sorry. I should have warned you sooner to buckle yourself into whatever seat you are sitting in.
4. Dad Sews Prom Dress, Makes News. Mariah Herron wanted a camouflage-print prom dress. She couldn’t find one. So her dad decided to sew one for her. The media took note. Presumably Mariah’s date did, too. Dear old dad lined the waistband with shotgun shells. It remains unclear whether this story is heart-warming or insulting, and if it is insulting, whether it is insulting to just Mariah’s dad, men everywhere, or the people who decide what makes news.
5. Adult Proms Are a Thing. For those of you who hated the prom as a teenager, watch out: you might get invited to one as an adult (although you can rest assured that it will not be by Liberal High School). An Ohio woman who likes to “dress up” sent out Facebook invitations for a prom at the local Comfort Suites. Guests entered under a balloon arch, and a flash mob did the Thriller dance. The event was such a success that she’s planning another prom for a bigger venue next year, and plans to donate some of the proceeds to an area charity. I am burning this part of the post as soon as you’re done reading it, as I don’t want my friends getting any ideas.
6. Elementary Schoolers Peddle Prom Advice. Ohio dominates the prom headlines yet again with this one: Columbus elementary-schoolers are participating in the Prom Card project. Local florists will insert personal messages and drawings from the children into boxes of cummerbunds and corsages destined for high school prom goers. The messages contain warnings about drug and alcohol abuse, in the hopes of inspiring the teenagers to enjoy a chem-free prom. Scientists will now work to identify the exact period of middle school during which adolescents lose their common sense and alter their risk tolerances.
Now go plan your fancy prom invite — or should we say “prom-posal!”, but make sure you check back here next week for the latest edition of “6 Things You Need to Know Right Now!”