Most high schools get a little antsy around Prom time and come up with all sorts of rules about what girls can wear, how close you can dance, what time the dance ends, and so on and so forth, but Archbishop John Carroll High School has one of the oddest rules I’ve ever seen—you must have a date.
That’s right, no date equals no prom and because of that rule, 17-year-old Amanda Dougherty who attends the Glenoldon, PA, school has been informed that she is not allowed to attend the dance tomorrow. The archdiocese in charge of her school hasn’t commented on her specific situation but they did release a statement, saying in part:
“The prom is an exciting event for students in all of our Archdiocesan high schools. Unfortunately, not all students are able to attend. We can’t address specific issues with specific students but there are various reasons that a student would not be able to attend. Not having a date is one example. Our high schools offer numerous dances and events throughout the year where dates are not required, but we view the prom as a special social event where a date is required to attend.”
Amanda is understandably upset for a number of reasons. The first being the pure stupidity of the rule.
“For them to say not that we’re not good enough to go unless we have a guy standing next to us, it’s just kind of sickening,” she told CBS News.
The teen is also upset because she’s already spent nearly $1,000 on the event, from the dress she started looking for around Christmas, to her shoes, flowers, and the $95 prom ticket. Not to mention, she was only planning to go to prom alone after her date bailed on her at the last minute.
The Global Christian Post points out one commentor’s thoughts about what this decision teaches kids about “social norms.” Lena Maureen reportedly wrote on The Huffington Post:
“Prom is an occasion where a date is required. If everyone started coming without a date, it would just be a dress up school dance. It’s a learning experience too – how to go about socializing with a partner. If everyone stood around without a date, then it would not be ‘prom like,’
“Kids need to learn that there are social norms and rules that should be followed, this is why our kids think that they should be able to do anything they want. It does not cut it in the real world, they get fired and cannot understand why…..even though they fought the companies rules.”
Riiiight because it’s that deep. That woman goes on to suggest Amanda take her father or brother to the dance with her if she really wants to go that bad—um, sorry there’s nothing “normal” about a male family member being your date for prom either. That’s called a father-daughter dance.
Having gone to a catholic high school, I would think the archdiocese would be happier that a girl was attending alone so there was less opportunity for sinning but I guess times have changes since I was rocking plaid skirts and knee socks to class.
What do you think about this prom date rule?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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