Concerned Parent Asks School Board to Change Policy on DCHS Prom

May 9, 2014
Dwayne Page

Should DeKalb County High School students be allowed to bring dates to the prom who are not students at DCHS?

At least one concerned parent believes the policy should be changed.

Catherine O'Neal, who lives on Dale Ridge Road, addressed the Board of Education Thursday night at DCHS, saying her son chose not to attend the recent DCHS prom, which was held in Lebanon, because he was not allowed to bring his girlfriend, who is a student at White County High School. O'Neal said the policy is unfair . " My son is an eleventh grader. He is pretty much a straight-A student and works very hard. He keeps his conduct in check at all times. I've never had a problem with him. This year I asked him about the prom and he said "I'm not going". This is from a young man who has been dating another young lady for over a year now. The young lady has roots in this community that spans decades long, yet her address happens to be in Sparta. He was told that he could not bring what he considers to be his significant other to a school function that did not even occur in this county for three hours. He was told you could go alone or invite a different girl. I would like that to be re-addressed. This is a twenty year old rule but this is the 21st century. I think this is so wrong. It's as if my son is being punished. He is not being allowed to attend something that is a milestone event. But yet, he is welcome at Sparta High for her prom. That does not make any sense to me. It's not fair and I think that it should be changed. He missed this one (prom). He didn't go to this one. The only one he's got left is his senior prom and I'd really like for him to take the person he cares about to that prom instead of having to miss it or go stag," said O'Neal.

The school board did not response to or act on O'Neal's request.

The DeKalb County Board of Education policy states that "attendance (to the prom) is limited only to students of the sponsoring school (DCHS)". According to the policy "events which enhance social development may be conducted by schools but must not interfere with the scholastic program in any school."

"Student organizations may sponsor social events, which are planned under the guidance of club sponsors or school administrators, scheduled well in advance, and serve to complement the curricular program. Minimal admission fees may be charged to defray costs."

"Social events scheduled for out-of-school hours shall be approved and administered by the principal. Activities scheduled outside of the system must be approved by the director of schools and/or the Board."

Social events, all dances including annual school proms have board approval provided that adequate supervision is secured, and attendance is limited only to students of the sponsoring school".

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