Prom night is a rite of passage for millions of high school students across the country. For weeks leading up to the event, students fret over who they will go with and what they will wear to one of the major social events of the school year. But the country is still in a recession, and the county’s economic woes are taking a toll on students too. Not only do they have to deal with teacher layoffs and less funding for extracurricular activities. At Santa Teresa High School in South San Jose, they also have to deal with less funding for prom night.
The problem is that the school, which has about 2,700 students, does not have the money to pay more than a handful of teachers to chaperone the event. They can afford only twelve teachers, which is hardly enough to keep an eye on over two thousand students. In fact, according to school officials, it is enough to watch over 500 kids and make sure that they don’t dance to closely or spike the punch. So the school has limited ticket sales to 500, leaving hundreds of kids from freshmen to seniors unable to get a coveted ticket.
The perfect solution, some might suggest, would have parents volunteer to act as chaperones, just like they do in every TV sitcom, where they show up and embarrass their kids by dancing. Unfortunately, school policy prevents parents from acting as chaperones.
And so kids are left out of the gymnasium, even though they’ve got their tuxes rented and their ball gowns bought. “I feel bad for the seniors who can’t even go to their last homecoming dance,” said one sophomore. Perhaps the memory that they’ll take away from high school won’t be about a magical night, slow dancing in the gym, but a lesson in the brutal reality of economics in a recession.
Read More at NBC Bay Area.