Seniors deserve attendance leniency on Prom day

Evie Klepp '22, Associate Editor of Print

Unlike previous years, Prom is being held on a Friday. Currently, students are being required to attend four hours of class on the day of Prom. (Evie Klepp ’22)

The Grosse Pointe South administration believes attendance is the cornerstone of education. Understandably so: you can’t learn if you don’t show up.

Attendance has always taken precedence over extracurricular activities. Athletes must attend school to go to their games. Band and Orchestra members must attend to go to their concerts. Despite having state championships, last year hockey and swim team members were required to come to school, rather than quarantine and do school online.

And this year, Seniors who plan on attending Prom will be required to attend four class periods on May 13.

The Class of 2022 was online for the majority of our prime fundraising time. As a result, the budget available was lower than we would have hoped. Moving Prom to a Friday allowed seniors to book a nice venue at a lower cost. I can speak to this directly as the Vice President of the senior class: we were not told that attendance in school on May 13 would be a prerequisite to attend Prom. We would not have booked Prom on a Friday, if we had known that this was the case.

Representatives from the senior student council met with Moussa Hamka and Cynthia Parravano on March 18. We hoped they would be willing to provide some leniency in their attendance decision, yet, we were unsuccessful.

Administration currently has no intention of changing their four hour policy. If seniors have set appointments on May 13, administration’s advice is to simply change them. If seniors can’t change their appointments, administration recommends you show up to school with your hair done. Administrators plan to print a record of all seniors’ attendance on May 13, and will check to make sure every single person who enters the Prom venue has met the four hour threshold. Students who have not fulfilled the requirement will be turned away, regardless of whether they have already purchased a Prom ticket.

During the meeting, I proposed that the administration consider lifting the four hour requirement, but not excusing the senior class. Meaning, absence on May 13 would count towards each student’s 10 allotted excused absences, but attendance would not be a necessity in order to attend Prom. This idea was rejected.

Why is the administration so unwilling to give seniors some grace and ease the policy? I wish I had a satisfying answer for you, but I do not. I’m not sure one exists. Administration believes there are bigger problems in the world right now, and we should feel happy and grateful that we are having a Prom in the first place. They see any preparation that goes into getting ready for the evening as inconsequential.

I have personally made it clear to the administration that I believe that the extra-curricular attendance policy should not apply to Prom, but my voice alone is not enough for that to happen. If you are upset with the current requirement, I implore you to reach out to Principals Hamka and Parravano and voice your concerns. There is no chance of this policy changing without everyone’s help.