Senior Prom Sucks!

Why Senior Prom is Overrated

Athena Cather Cruz, editor in chief, senior

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Every school year, hundreds of high schools across the country follow the long-standing tradition of senior prom.

The word prom originated from promenade. It meant a march of guests in a formal dinner. Originally, dance was used to teach students proper etiquette but now has been transformed as part of the high school experience.

For some, it is a rite of passage while it is merely an extravagant expense for others. Under pressure, young girls spend more than $500 for the perfect dress to appear their best for their date. On average boys spend approximately half as much as girls. The tradition of attending a school chaperone dance for students to enjoy the last year of their high school career comes at a cost. At San Diego High the price for a single ticket is $90 if purchased a few weeks before the big event. For this rather large investment students will be provided with music, a dessert bar and soft drinks at El Cortez Hotel.

For most students the ticket will not be their only investment. Some will attend an affect party and an expensive dinner before the dance. Of course, there is also the cost of transportation and cosmetics. Visa credit card company reports that families spend an average of $1,000 for the night. International Studies (IS) senior Kelly McDaniel said that she had spent over $600 paying for the dress, makeup, shoes, accessories, and dinner with friends.

Although not prevalent in San Diego, some high school seniors are faced with harassment from school officials when trying to attend with a same-sex partner. Thinkprogress.org, a progressive, editorially independent news service, reported that in 2010 a high school in Iowa made the motion to cancel prom to prevent a lesbian couple from attending the event. This biased decision only proved to bring bad publicity to the school. Luckily the student body decided to through their own celebration as a way to support their classmates.

Ms. Armstrong, the senior advisor for this year’s class, was the staff member in charge of organizing prom. Along with Destiny Wells, an ASB member and IS senior, were able to reserve the El Cortez Hotel for the seniors’ special night. Destiny was also the only senior and student who helped Ms. Armstrong with this year’s event. With a failed student body participation, the senior class was also affected by a lack of fundraising.

A striking study conducted by Edgar, Snyder & Associates law firm found that on the night of the celebration, attendees are more likely to binge drink, and consuming more than four alcoholic beverages; whether this contributed to peer pressure or the innate sense of freedom is not clear. Another study conducted by the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), found a correlation between prom season and elevated drunk driving incidents with teens.

Senior prom is not only an unnecessary and pressured event, but it can also be very costly for students, their safety, and their families financially.

For the incoming class of 2017 and those after questioning on whether or not to go, they should not make the investment in the school’s prom.

As a senior, students should save that money for their future.

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The online edition of San Diego High School's newspaper
Senior Prom Sucks!