I write this letter in response to what was widely called by the Westhampton Beach High School community a “Junior Prom,” held last Wednesday night.
As a result of the pandemic, the school-sponsored Junior Prom did not happen. In response, a student and her family decided to hire a facility to host what they called the “Junior Prom,” complete with pre-event group photos, bus transportation, food, music, tuxedos, gowns and a price per ticket. However, the event was “by invitation only” — and while invites were coveted, only half the junior class was invited.
Nonetheless, the organizers and entire school community came to refer to the event as the “Junior Prom,” with uninvited juniors left out, watching from the sidelines, while both parents and students alike posted countless pictures of juniors decked out in gowns and tuxedos on social media, captioned “Junior Prom.”
I write this letter to voice my opinion that to hold an event in these circumstances and call it a “Junior Prom” was cruel and unfeeling to the students who were not invited, and it was equally unkind to post pictures captioned “Junior Prom” when there were juniors left out, forced to watch from home.
Nobody should use the term “Prom” unless the entire class is invited. Call it an “End of Year Party,” a “Sweet 16” or just about anything else — but to call it a “Prom” and not invite the entire class was callous and hurtful to the kids left out and those who love them.
We as a community can do better than this.
One fine body…