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Prom Cancelled
Posted: 17 October 2005 07:18 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Long Island principal cancels prom because of ‘financial decadence’

October 17, 2005
BY FRANK ELTMAN

UNIONDALE, N.Y.—Brother Kenneth M. Hoagland had heard all the stories about prom-night debauchery at his Long Island high school: Students putting down $10,000 to rent a party house in the Hamptons. Pre-prom cocktail parties followed by a trip to the dance in a liquor-loaded limo. Fathers chartering a boat for their children’s late-night “booze cruise.”

Enough was enough, Hoagland said. So the principal of Kellenberg Memorial High School canceled the spring prom in a 2,000-word letter to parents this fall.

“It is not primarily the sex/ booze/drugs that surround this event, as problematic as they might be; it is rather the flaunting of affluence, assuming exaggerated expenses, a pursuit of vanity for vanity’s sake—in a word, financial decadence,” Hoagland said, fed up with what he called the “bacchanalian aspects.”

“Each year it gets worse—becomes more exaggerated, more expensive, more emotionally traumatic,” he added. “We are withdrawing from the battle and allowing the parents full responsibility. [Kellenberg] is willing to sponsor a prom, but not an orgy.”

Renting a house in Hamptons

The move brought a mixed, albeit passionate, reaction from students and parents at the Roman Catholic school, which is owned by the Society of Mary (Marianists), a religious order of priests and brothers.

“I don’t think it’s fair, obviously, that they canceled prom,” said senior Alyssa Johnson. “There are problems with the prom, but I don’t think their reasons or the actions they took solved anything.”

Hoagland began talking about the future of the prom last spring after 46 Kellenberg seniors made a $10,000 down payment on a $20,000 rental in the Hamptons for a post-prom party. When school officials found out, they forced the students to cancel the deal; the kids got their money back and the prom went on as planned.

But some parents went ahead and rented a Hamptons house anyway, Hoagland said.

Amy Best, an associate professor of sociology and anthropology at George Mason University in Virginia and author of Prom Night: Youth, Schools and Popular Culture, said this is the first time she has heard of a school canceling the prom for such reasons.

Parents might sponsor prom

“A lot of people have lamented the growing consumption that surrounds the prom,” she said, noting it is not uncommon for students to pay $1,000 on the dance and surrounding folderol: expensive dresses, tuxedo rentals, flowers, limousines, pre- and post-prom parties.

Best pinned some of the blame for the burgeoning costs on parents, who are often willing to open their wallets for whatever their child demands. “It is a huge misperception that the kids themselves are totally driving this.”

Edward Lawson, the father of a Kellenberg senior, said he and other parents are discussing whether to organize a prom without the sponsorship of the 2,500-student school.

“This is my fourth child to go through Kellenberg, and I don’t think they have a right to judge what goes on after the prom,” he said. “They put everybody in the category of drinkers and drug addicts. I don’t believe that’s the right thing to do.”

Some parents waiting to pick up their children on a recent afternoon said they support Hoagland.

Some parents relieved

“The school has excellent values,” said Margaret Cameron. “We send our children here because we support the values and the administration of the school and I totally back everything they do.”

Hoagland said parents, who pay $6,025 in annual tuition, have expressed appreciation for his stand. “For some, it [the letter] was an eye-opener,” he said. “Others feel relieved that the pressure is off of them.”

Chris Laine, a senior, said the cancellation was “unfortunate, but you can’t really argue with the facts they present. ... It’s just what it’s evolved into. It’s not what it was 20, 30 or 40 years ago. It’s turned into something it wasn’t originally intended to be.”

Besides, Laine noted, the senior class still has a four-day trip to Disney World in April.

“We go to all the parks with our friends,” he said before hopping into his black Infiniti and driving off to meet friends. “We fly down together and stay in the same hotel and so it’s not like we’re totally losing everything.” AP

http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-prom17.html

I personally think all these school functions have sort of gotten out of hand.  As a parent, I would not be paying for all the stuff that some kids want.  Limos, dinners, parties.  I might pay for the prom ticket itself, and give a specific dollar amount that the child could put toward their prom experience.  I believe in kids earning the things they want.  Parents can provide what is NEEDED.

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Posted: 17 October 2005 09:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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We have similar problems here with the Irish version/ Debs. Not nearly as big though. I do agree the parents account for much of it. Some of the amounts people spend here on Communion Days is obscene - 7 year old girls getting fake tan and manicures is so sick and wrong

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Posted: 17 October 2005 03:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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My friends and I are preparing for the prom already, and its in June (I think). Well, my mates are, if I see a dress I like I’ll ask about it, because I am so picky and haven’t worn a dress since I was about 8 years old.
8 of us are clubbing together for a limo, wech equals about 25 pounds each, then theres the dress, one of my friends is wearing her sisters and another has bought hers from a charity shop. I think I’ll probably buy a pretty decent one if I get my job cos I can save for it.
Then there’s accesories, hair, shoes and the venue.

We have worked it out to be under 1,000 pounds although I still think this is loads for the one night. However, I am going to get a dress which I can wear again (with matching accesories of course! did I just sound really girlie?), so they only one-night things will be the venu (about 20 pounds), the hair appointment (I’ll get this free ‘cos my mate mum is a hairdresser), and the limo (about 25 pound), so it’s not as bad as some other girls.

I saw a dress on TV the other night and, with very low hopes, contacted the maker to ask how much it was. It was lucky I though so low as the dress was 1,800 pounds, maybe less if I dont have as many jewels on it or something. I guess I won’t be getting that one huh?

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Posted: 17 October 2005 05:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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My prom was only about 5 years ago, and I didn’t spend nearly that much.  $40 dress (which I still own and still wear when I need to be very formal), $150 for the two tickets (my prom was at sea world, and yes, my date made me pay for him!), and $30 for my share of the limo.  Also, my date paid for my dinner which was probably about $25.  So my share of prom (regardless of who paid) costed $40 +75+30+25 = $170.  Not much at all.  No that my parents couldn’t have afforded more (we are very well-to-do if you will), but I hated asking my parents for lots of money so I tried my hardest to be as cheep as possible.  I had a great time on only a little money.  Afterwards we all went to a friend’s house and watched movies.  There was no alcohol.

...Wow, I was a really innocent kid when I was in high school…

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Posted: 17 October 2005 05:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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My best friend at the time (15 years ago) spent $200 on his prom, and I thought he was insane.

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Posted: 17 October 2005 06:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I think I might get a shave at a barbershop for my prom.  I’ll probably wear a zoot suit or some weird thing I find at a thrift store.

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Posted: 17 October 2005 08:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Hmm, and I was thinking that a prom was just supposed to be a formal dance.  The whole idea does seem to have evolved rather drastically from that.

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Posted: 18 October 2005 06:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I didn’t go overboard on my ball dress or anything either and I still had a good time. Actually, I’m a huge beleiver that you don’t have to spend a fortune on something to have a good time - my wedding only cost $5000 fo the whole day, which is what some women spend on the dress alone. We had a fantasic time. Some people just go to extremes.

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Posted: 18 October 2005 09:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I think the problem is that people get so much into the idea of having these perfect moments to think back on, to create a good experience, that they forget that the point of the prom is to simply have a formal send off at the end of the year - the last big highschool dance.

I didn’t go to prom, but I attended some homecomings…and I didn’t even spend money on a dress.  I had a few dresses that I already owned that would fit the evening.  Although, I didn’t attend at the schools either, so it was a little different.

My wedding cost about $2500 for the wedding, reception, and honeymoon…I just wasn’t into making it a big deal.  I mean, we took pictures, it didn’t have to be so expensive that to ‘remember’ it better we’d be paying for it until our 10th anniversary.

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Posted: 19 October 2005 08:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I wouldnt spend as much as that woman was charging on a dress anyway. I know you dont need to spend money to have a good time smile

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Posted: 19 October 2005 01:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Prom is an evil being, I remember going to mine…
Nothing but crap rap music and underage girls grinding their asses on random guys’ crotches.
So I skipped it and went to the hotel room I rented out and I sat up the afterparty stuff.

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Posted: 19 October 2005 03:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Raoul Duke - 19 October 2005 05:30 PM

Prom is an evil being, I remember going to mine…
Nothing but crap rap music and underage girls grinding their asses on random guys’ crotches.
So I skipped it and went to the hotel room I rented out and I sat up the afterparty stuff.

Well, I wont be grinding my ass on a random guys crotch. I need an afterparty, and I also need to get tipsy before I go smile

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