Principal cancelled prom claiming the cost to parents and students is too much to bare and is a risk due to drug and alcohol abuse
Headmaster Chris Beirne of the Beaulieu School for girls had made the decision this year to eliminate the school’s end of year prom. The cost of prom to parents and pupils was just too much to bare. He had also said that it was ‘no longer reasonable’ for staff to be expected to supervise the school event, ‘in an era of increasing safeguarding risk to students and the staff themselves.’
According the the Jersey Evening Post, Headmaster Bernie was also quoted as saying, “The price of pre- and after-prom parties and the significant focus and distraction this event causes in the academic year, not to mention the growing expense and luxury foisted on parents in the preparation for this event.”
Now for the solution:
Proms are big business. Over 1 billion dollars is spent in the US alone on prom dresses, tux rentals, tanning, flowers, limos, and disposable themed cardboard cutouts. There is so much emphasis on keeping up with the Jones’ to outdo each other with the amount of money spent on these items. But that isn’t the goal of prom. Prom is an opportunity for students to celebrate their school spirit and enjoy a special night just for them with friends and classmates.
The truth is, you don’t need to spent a small fortune to have a good time. But you do need to prioritize your goals. Proms and weddings are miles apart when it comes to planning. For weddings, the majority of the attendees are adults. They want to be wined and dined and enjoy a 4 course meal with all of the trimmings, have an open bar, and dance the night away. But with proms, you’re dealing with teenagers. These are the folks who have 20 minutes for a lunch period and are done with a meal in 10 minutes. They want to dance and let it all hang out for a night. Dinner is for sustenance. Sure it has to be good considering the price per person but, instead of opting for a plated meal, consider a buffet. The students that eat a little bit can take what they want and the students with a healthy appetite can grab a little more if they wish. Everyone is happy because they get to choose what they want.
Centerpieces are pretty, but they make a better door than a window. And if you’re doing 3 foot hurricane glasses filled with an acre of wildflowers, it’s going to impede on the students’ ability to chat with each other during dinner.
PROM THEMES! This past year, The Great Gatsby was where it was at. The decadence of Hollywood is so popular for proms. It’s the student’s opportunity to spoil themselves and feel like royalty for the night. But this theme, and many more can be satisfied when it comes to the individual choices in apparel. By saving on disposable decor that will inevitably find it’s way to the landfill 8 hours after it’s set up, you can pass the savings on to the students for other things like limo services, coach buses, and formal wear.
Last but not least, and certainly the most important… Your Entertainment matters the most. Your entertainment is what makes or breaks a prom. Choose the right one and you’ll be a hero to your students and administration. Choose the wrong one and the students will spend the night on their phones or leaving early or at the very worst, succumbing to the clutches of alcohol and substance abuse.
It is completely understandable that the administration in this particular case wants to protect his students from the dangers of substance abuse but by the same token, if you give the students an opportunity to enjoy themselves and put the focus on what is important to THEM instead of what you THINK they want, by giving them an environment that will have them dancing long and hard, singing at the top of their lungs, clapping their hands in the air all night long, they won’t want to turn to drugs & alcohol. They’ll be having too much fun to want to leave.