Asking the Obvious

Why not do away with school-sponsored proms?

ZOMG! Outrageous! Crazytalk! Heretical!

Wait a second. Think about it.

Why do school-sponsored proms exist? Why are public school admins involved in encouraging minors to feel compelled to spend gobs of money on a dance, only to then  be forced to send teachers in to monitor dress code, dancing styles, possible drug/alcohol possession, etc.?


Now I’m not talking about “banning” anything, gawd forbid. The mommies who think prom is an important life experience are certainly free to organize an event outside of school hours and grounds. I’m only talking about the public school’s involvement in this nonsense.

Did you know that the average cost of prom per girl is over One Thousand Dollars (that source is from 2013, btw)? Sure, there are ways to save money  on the dress, maybe not take a limo (No limo? But Daddy, waaah!), do nails/hair yourself, etc. But why should the default option be that girls feel compelled to spend (or ask their parents to spend) any amount of money on this school-driven entertainment? The default option could be… absolutely nothing. And parents who want their teens to participate in a big fancy dance, plus all the extras, can get together to make that happen.

Those parents can then deal with the fallout, instead of public school staff, on the taxpayer’s dime, having to spend time on it.

Recent examples of fallout…

Admins forced to deal with “prom draft”.

Increasingly ridiculous prom-posals.

To gay or not to gay.

Tuxedo theft

The slutty dress issue.

Renegade party buses.

Boozing it up in the limo.

Booze parties involving teachers.

Moar drinking and drugs.

Death. Death. Death.

Is it worth it? Do we have to continue this “tradition” just because… ? Why?



8 responses to “Asking the Obvious

  1. Well, because where else are teens supposed to get nekkid and all that biz? The school should be providing a safe place for that! Or an unsafe one! Or whatever! And also, it’s an important part of life experience to be able to get a date and make fun of the people who can’t!

    I think school dances and other extracurricular social events are nice. And educational, in the life skills department, but you can certainly argue, as people do, over whether life skills are something schools should be touching on, or just math.

    But either way, the prom is out of control. Jeans and cookies and punch would work just as well. And no dates required. What is with this business of teaching people they only belong somewhere (anywhere!) as part of a couple?


    • So much thisness here. THIS THIS THIS! Social skills are important, so yes it would be great if prom could be brought down several thousand notches to the jeans and cookies party. And right on about the couples thing! Good catch.


  2. It’s like their last chance to play at fairytales, and hordes of them would cry about how mean and unfair it is if the school didn’t schedule a prom.

    But actually, I’m out of touch. The 18 yr old in my house went to her senior ball last weekend and I just realized I don’t know anything about it, including if it was sponsored by the school or was a separate event. Might have been, you know.

    Much as I support more Math and English and P.E. in schools, the intangibles that build emotional intelligence are vital too, and while music and art do this pretty well, big social events that kids want to go to play a part too.

    I didn’t go to mine. Wouldn’t have even if the jazz band wasn’t at a festival in Monterey, which was my official reason. By the mid 70s our school’s big events were dominated by the black urban half of the school and us hippyish white kids didn’t feel welcome. Or maybe that was just me, even though my gf was Korean.

    Man, I’m rambling today. Blogged accordingly, but damn. Too much junk in de brain.


  3. Prom was a happy memory for me. It’s definitely something in the treasure box in my mind. it’s the first time I slow danced. I even remember some of the songs:
    These from Mahogany (prom theme)
    Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? (Hey, it was 1979)
    Last Dance
    You’re In My Heart
    Can’t Smile Without You (Again, 1979!)
    How Deep Is Your Love?
    First Time


  4. More memories from prom.
    First time I drove on the expressway. (Translation for CA folks: freeway)
    I had to drive on the expressway because the prom was in New Jersey.
    The prom was in New Jersey because the drinking age in Pennsylvania was 21, and in New Jersey it was 18. (Yes, this was a school sponsored event!)
    First time my parents let me drive the “new car”, which was a 1977 Dodge Aspen. Previously, I was only allowed to drive the 1969 Dodge Dart.


  5. I went to one prom and wore a dress my grandmother made, which was 2 sizes too big (I blame her for my lifetime of buying larger than necessary clothing. She always made my clothes too big.) Do you know that the only thing I remember is that it was a lunar eclipse night? I hated prom. My boyfriend tried to pressure me into sex because of how much he spent. Ugh. My son attended about 6 proms and he loved them all. But I wish schools would back out. Our HS has an after prom, sponsored by the school and parents assn. When the older one went to prom, I volunteered for a 2 am – 5 am chaperone shift. Not fun. This year, I received 4 frantic calls pleading with me to volunteer or after prom would be canceled!!! The horror! My kid was not going, so I did not volunteer. I’m sure they found some suckers to chaperone.


  6. Steven ~ I remember those songs! Illinois had a drinking age of 21, too, but they kept the proms in-state (tho I never went). I’m sure there was plenty of drinking regardless.

    I should blog about first cars! I have a couple pics of my Plymouth Satellite.

    Nat ~ yikes, sorry to hear about your bad experience. I don’t remember what the girls did after prom, and that’s probably a good thing. 🙂


  7. I went to two of my school’s proms and one for my senior year boyfriend. The first time he and I had sexual activity was the night of his prom. He didn’t pressure me. I wanted it. 😉 And I think that tipped him over the edge into true lurve for me. Not that I was looking for that.

    My first prom my mom took me to her favorite hairdresser and paid him lots of money (for us) for a special hairstyle. He spent hours on the up-do. It was so … elderly looking and inappropriate for my face, my stature, my age. Just … wrong. I hated it. But mom had spent so much money on it and so I wore it that way.

    The next prom was much better and the one after that was fabulous.

    In all cases, I wore dresses that were very affordable. My mom found a genuine Gunny Sax™ gown on sale at a discount store for one of them. It looked great on me. There were no limos. There was a fancy dinner, but the guys paid for that, and they got their money from their jobs. The proms were held in our school gyms.

    If they must have proms, maybe it ought to go back to a fancy dress-up school dance motif.

    Dick sent me a fragment of a story about some guy who broke the window of a tux shop and stole a $600 tux, put it on, and went to his prom. He was arrested, apparently. His date was unhappy about the arrest.


Frosting flavor?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s