Notes from a High School Teacher-cum-Chaperone: Snazzy Prom

In this amazing blog post, I write about the night I chaperoned the Senior prom - and it wasn't pretty.
How would you feel if you were asked to turn away from your junior/senior prom because the school decided they didn't agree with your facial hair, choice of dress or even, in some cases, your selected partner?
High School prom dances are social experiments. Prom season creates news headlines when the desires of students do not coincide with administrative rules. Prom for me represents a tumultuous time for adolescence. Prom is the end of high school innocence. From the word, promenade, a vestige of the old-style formal walks, prom in America is still a showcase. At this school, a mixed group of middle-class to socially high class, black, mostly white, and a smattering of Asian and Hispanic groups, Prom is a smorgasbord.
I notice boys and girls who label themselves as gay at school are noticeably paired up with the opposite sex at prom night - or in some cases, going stag. A lone freshman looks confident, but out of place tagged with her junior date who keeps grabbing at his shirt collar legs.
One boy, dressed in tux asks me where's the keg? No alcohol, I say. He sniffs my straight cola. Another girl bemoans she's dateless. The seniors vote for the funniest, the friendliest, and the prettiest. One of the song choices is "Thriller." Young people bump and grind. The dean of behavior informs his teacher squad to watch out for indecent behavior.

The principal announces Prom king and queen. No blood à la Carrie. Thank god. No shaking of constitutional rights tonight. The chaperone shift is almost up. I go home to have a drink and read Stephen King.

1 comment:

  1. How about those sandwiches & veggies in the "dumpiest" place ever? I should have walked out when you did.


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