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The problem with proms

OK, if you're under the age of 18 and still in high school, you can stop reading at the end of this paragraph. Everything you read after this will just make you angry anyway. So why put yourself through it?

Are they all gone? Good.

Listen up adults. I think the most archaic tradition still alive in schools today is the prom. I know Thomson High just had its prom this past weekend, and Briarwood's was only a couple of weeks ago. That is why we are here right now and the kids are not.

If you've ever been inside THS while a prom was going on, you would know that the school goes to great lengths to put on a first class event. The halls are always decorated beautifully.

On top of that, much is spent to bring in a D.J., lights, etc. It always looks as though it was spared no expense while at the same time staying on a fairly sensible budget for such an event. Kudos goes to those in charge for pulling off that feat.

I took pictures inside at the 2004 and 2005 THS proms, so I should know. I even attended one during my senior year at the school.

Here's where the trouble comes, though. All of this work is done for the students, many of whom don't even stay to enjoy it. They opt instead to take off for their own parties where they can do all sorts of things they can't do at the prom.

Let's face facts. There is a large group of students who use prom night as an excuse to get drunk. Many adults are not only allowing this but illegally providing the alcohol to underage kids.

Some parents even provide a place to have these parties. Those parents have the attitude of "Well, they're going to drink anyway, so we might was well let them do it here where we can keep an eye on them."

To put it mildly, that's a load of crap. Parents with that attitude gave up on raising their children properly long ago.

Another thing I remember hearing even back from my days in high school was the number of teen pregnancies that, when months were counted, the date of conception could nearly be pinpointed to prom night.

With all the extracurricular activity going on - and seemingly allowed - during this one night each year, I think school officials should seriously reconsider this outdated tradition. It's so much work for so little reward.

Sure, some students stick around the prom and go straight home afterward. But undoubtedly those have learned to have fun without doing anything illegal or immoral. Let's give the rest of the kids a chance to learn that by not sabotaging it with one night of "anything goes."

Web posted on Thursday, April 27, 2006

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