Underclassmen at prom?
The recent tragic events at CHS have brought students unpredicted opportunities including the winning of the “Rock Your Prom” contest put on by local radio station 96.5 Kiss FM. Because of the amazing prom experience guaranteed to Chardon students after winning the prom-prize-package, the debate regarding whether or not freshmen and sophomores should be allowed to attend the annual festivities has become heated.
Social media is the biggest forum for such debates usually taking place between upperclassmen who want to maintain the normal tradition of prom, and freshmen and sophomores who feel there should be an exception made after the school’s shooting on February 27. Facebook was the obvious place to check in order to understand the student body’s feeling over the prom situation.
Mitch Weber, a junior and future prom attendee, was quick to comment saying, “Underclassmen should only be allowed to go to prom if asked by a senior or junior. A traumatic incident does not change school tradition.”
Because underclassmen were not permitted to buy tickets to prom themselves, many have had older students take them. Another strategy taken to get into the “rocking prom” this year taken by underclassmen is to switch dates with an older couple just to by tickets for prom and then switch back at the actual event, allowing the two young students to go to prom together instead of getting older dates.
Ashley DeShetler, one of Weber’s classmates, isn’t so sure the underclassmen will really enjoy a prom without all of their friends being invited as well. “I understand that they want to go to prom too. But no matter how extravagant it is, prom is about the people you are with. So I don’t think it would be much fun for an underclassman to go with someone they barely know or have someone get them a ticket and just be stuck with their date and not a lot of their friends.”
The underclassmen’s rebuttal to Weber’s argument came from freshman Megan Stark, who is disappointed she will be missing out on the once in a lifetime experience. “Personally as an underclassman, I think we should have been able to go to prom. I understand that it’s prom, and if I was a junior or senior I wouldn’t want underclassmen at my prom but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and no prom is ever going to be the same. I would have made an exception. I think we should have been able to go because it was something the whole school experienced and the upperclassmen shouldn’t be the only ones getting a special event.”
Abbey Wolfe is a senior this year and didn’t hesitate to let her opinion be known adding, “I personally don’t think the underclassmen should be allowed to go. Unless with their real date of course. They will be all together next year and a few years after that. We are going to be gone. It’s one of the few things that are ‘normal’ for us this year, especially for the seniors. It is one of the last few opportunities for us to be together as a class, as friends, and as a support group. The underclassmen will have all that for the next few years- we won’t.”
This topic has brought a lot of tension between schoolmates at Chardon. Division among grades is the last thing the school needs. The best solution for our school is most certainly some kind of compromise. Stark’s final comments seemed to be like a practical solution that would please all grades and students of CHS. “I think they (upperclassmen) should have a regular prom and the whole school should have another event that everyone would be able to enjoy.”