High school prom rules angering some students and parents

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POMONA, Kan. – Two students at a high school in Pomona, Kansas are upset with the rules on who is allowed to attend prom, and they feel there should be some exceptions to those rules.

Senior Sierra Jones, who goes to West Franklin High School, says she wants to take her boyfriend of three years, 19-year-old Jason Brown, to her prom, but because of a school rule, she won’t be able to.

"I just found out that we might not be able to go, which is kind of disheartening," said Brown, who graduated from West Franklin High School in 2013.

Brown joined the military after graduating, and was sent to Fort Benning in Georgia for training. While there, he injured his lower back causing problems in his left leg...he uses a cane to help him get around.

"Due to the disability, we`re kind of limited in what we can do," Jones said.

"Coming back home from the military, after being injured, I was looking forward to going to prom with her," Brown added.

But according to school policy, only students who attend the school or students, who graduated only one year before, can go.

Brown graduated two years ago, therefore, he is unable to go. Jerry Turner, the superintendent, says the board revisited this policy Monday night at a meeting.

"They voted on whether or not to change, because there was a proposal to change it to an age limit of 21, and the board ended in a three-three tie, which in the state of Kansas, three-three tie means it stays as it is," said Turner.

"What happens if you get a case where, if I had a brother that was 25, and he was serving overseas, and he had just come home, and I don`t have a boyfriend, why can`t I bring him?" Jones said.

Jones' dad, Brian, says he feels the school board is making parental decisions.

"If I want to let my daughter date a 19-year-old or a 20-year-old, and if I feel that person is suitable for my daughter and is capable of safely taking her to prom and having a good time, it should be a parental responsibility, not a school board responsibility," said Brian Jones.

Brian Jones says he understands why rules are in place. What he doesn't understand is why there is no flexibility or exceptions.

"I mean this is a three hour block of a child`s life, that they`re going to remember for the rest of their lives," said Brian Jones. "Why is the school board making that determination?"

Jones says she’s hoping the school decides to make an exception before the prom in April.



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