Prom Problems


Amy Caceres, Editor

Seniors Arielle Adelman, and Peter Ditto get ready to go into the cafeteria for the band banquet.

Leslie Palmieri was all set to go to prom. She had already bought her dress and shoes, and almost everything was planned out. But there was one thing she didn’t take into account – her 10 absences in second semester.

“I had this beautiful dark green dress for prom,” said Palmieri. “I was so excited to use it because it’s my absolute most favorite color, and then I found out I had 14 absences and I couldn’t even go.” 

According to BCPS policy, if a senior misses more than 10 days of school during fourth quarter, excused or not, they can’t attend prom. Palmieri was devastated when she realized excused absences counted towards the prom restriction.

But, not all hope was lost – the restriction only applied to her home school, so she went to Nova’s prom on April 23rd. Students around South Broward are upset by these restrictions. Many students, especially seniors, dream of the day they’ll get to go to prom, and are heartbroken they won’t get to celebrate their High School experience. 

Isabella Vanburen was also upset by the restrictions on prom. She will not be attending prom because she has missed 20 days, and her friends won’t be going either since they don’t meet the attendance requirements. 

“I was kinda really excited for prom and then they announced that if we had more than 10 absences we couldn’t even go. Then I found out from some friends that it was excused absences too, so I couldn’t even do anything,” said Vanburen.

Vanburen went to the Saint Thomas Aquinas prom with her best friend on March 25th. 

“It was such a fun night, we drank fruit punch, and danced until 10 PM,” Said Vanburen. “ I think, we lost track of time. By the time we got home we were so tired out.”

Students have varying reasons for their absences.

Palmieri’s family has a few struggles and it’s difficult for her to get a ride to school some days.

Senior Arielle Adelman is not going to prom because she has 16 absences for the second semester. Her mother has cancer, and some days she needs to stay home to take care of her mother and help her with chemo.

“I am devastated that I can’t go to prom just because I missed six extra days but I can’t just not help my mom,” Said Adelman

Since Adelman is sad that she can’t attend prom, she will be attending a band banquet on May 6th. The kids in the band call it “band prom.” The band banquet will mostly be awarding the kids in band, and giving them higher positions for following years. Yet there was dancing and music, and much food. The event happened in the cafeteria of South Broward, but everyone seemed to enjoy it. 

Adelman believes grades are what should matter, not how many times you showed up to school, especially if it was just a bit over the 10 day mark. 

“It’s so unfair to rob seniors of this experience, because I have straight A’s and a 3.7 GPA, attendance shouldn’t matter,” said Adelman.

The-18-year-old has not talked to her counselor about her case, because she’s afraid no one will believe her and it’ll amount to nothing.

“They’re a bit unreasonable sometimes, and they’re also intimidating, so I just feel like there’s no point,” Said Adelman “It’s not going to do anything if I talk to them, while everyone else is also trying to get excused.”

Vanburen, like Adelman, agrees the requirement should be based on grades. She believes if a senior is on track to graduate, they should be able to attend prom because this is a senior experience that many kids won’t get to enjoy.

“No, I honestly didn’t even bother asking admin because they were very adamant about the requirements when they went over this stuff with us and they said they were making no exceptions,” Said Vanburen

Ever since all students had to continue school online because of covid, she’s found it hard to fall back into a routine of coming to school. All her motivation for school was lost when this school year started. 

Palmieri’s family has a few struggles and it’s difficult for her to get to school some days. A few months ago the senior had Covid and she was out of school for around five days because of it. This left her with only five more days she would’ve been allowed to miss. Palmieri ended up missing nine more days.

“I would rather go to my own prom for the experience and get to have fun with my school friends,” Said Palmieri.