Let’s talk about prom, baby

Feature Photo By: Samir Mohamed– Senior Lauren Paige(left) and junior Aaliyah Smith(right) check the posted list of prom attendance eligibility. The list stands outside of The Locker in the front of the school. 

By: Dennae Pigford, Review Staff

One hundred and seventy six. That is the amount of school days that are to occur this year without disturbance. We are currently on day 165. In order to reach 95% of attendance, you, as a student, must not miss more than eight full days of school.

Many find achieving numbers like these hard to imagine, especially when those watching over your attendance are keeping track of not only unexcused absences, but excused ones as well in order to make sure that you are eligible for prom.

Plenty of upperclassmen find that they are just short of the 95 percent attendance to go to prom, and because of this, prom could look more like a ghost town than a party, some say.

“I had 93% [attendance],” says senior Emily Leday. “My parents had called in to complain, and I had to get a permission slip signed. When I went to the bookkeeper they asked to see my ID and why I had so many absences, which were due to so many hospital and doctor’s visits.”

Exceptions like these aren’t commonly occurring; however, this loophole has also been in use for a few students. With connections in the main office or a simple parent phone call, it seems simple to go around the system for some but not all.

“Finding loopholes isn’t fair to other students who aren’t able to get them,” mentioned Leday. “They’re not available to everyone, even people who deserve to go.”

While there has been a large uproar from the student body over the seemingly unfair attendance policy, the staff members appointed by Principal Fay to enforce the policy chose to leave no comment and Mr. Fay himself chose not to talk about it.

Not only do many in the on-campus community disagree with the new attendance policy, but many parents are not too thrilled with the choice either. One mom even went as far to say that prom is a right of passage for all high schoolers and should be an opportunity for everyone.

Junior Leslie Gonzalez looks at her attendance log on Infinite Campus. Each students attendance for the year can be represented by colors for each both as is accessible through their account. (Dennae Pigford)

“The prom is for the kids to be together and bond….this seems just another way to take from the kids,” said one Rangeview parent, Diane Moon.

While any absence related to a school trip — field trip, sports game, etc. — will not count toward an absence total, a regular sick day will.  

“Excused absences shouldn’t be counted against students because there are other things that happen outside of school that could prohibit the student to go to school that is beyond their control,” stated junior Angel-Kaye Luna. “That shouldn’t be held against them.”

With multiple suggestions made to either lower the percentage rate or only count unexcused absences, the RHS students and community do have a fragile grasp of the reasoning for this act.

I believe this isn’t a black and white matter.  Excused absences shouldn’t be counted against a student,” says Moon. “I think the student’s year in its entirety should be considered.  Not absences…but grades and participation.”

This time last year, a week before prom, 403 tickets had been sold to students. As of Friday, May 5th, 360 tickets have been sold, according to members of student leadership.

On multiple counts, the understanding is that the policy was put into place as an incentive for students to be in class.

“I think it’s a bad way to determine if kids should be able to go to prom,” said Leday.

Beyond that, many students said they understand some sort of attendance minimum required, but that 95 percent is way too high and that the new policy was not effectively communicated until much too late in the school year, many say.

“Some students are barely passing the attendance requirement,” mentioned Luna. “I understand that they do it this way because it encourages students to come to school, but they should be tweaked a little to be more fair.”

 

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