As excited students look forward to their senior prom, the high school released its annual list of rules regarding the celebration. However, when teens saw what the superintendent had banned in order to promote “equality,” they immediately scheduled a school-wide protest.
For high school students, their senior prom signifies their last commemoration before graduating and going off into the world. Because it is a time-honored tradition, many students put their energy and finances into making it the perfect night about which they’ve always dreamed.
As prom drew near for Lakeland Regional High School in Wanaque, New Jersey, students and staff made sure that every last detail was finalized for the end-of-the-year bash. However, many attendees quickly realized that their plans were about to be foiled when the superintendent released a new rule for prom-goers.
According to The Blaze, superintendent Hugh Beattie banned students from taking limousines to prom in order to promote “equality” and “equity” because not everyone can afford to rent a limo. Instead, all attendees will be forced to ride on chaperoned school buses to and from the venue so that everyone is equal.
“This way we have a little more control over what’s going on. [The prom venue is] 45 minutes away from campus, so we’ll make sure students get there and back safely,” school superintendent Hugh Beattie said.
Of course, the school still managed to find a way to fund their equality efforts, forcing students to pay $15 each for the mandatory transportation. In a bid to justify the bizarre decision, Beattie explained that it’s not just about leveling the playing field but curbing underage drinking as well.
Expectedly, most students were upset with the school’s decision, whether they planned to take a limo or not. Some added that the mandate will make them feel trapped at prom since some want to arrive late or leave early to head to other locations, WCBS-TV reports.
“It’s just one of the expenses,” senior Caitlin Heckler said. “You get your dress, your makeup, hair, nails, and then you get a limo. It’s one of the parts of prom.”
“The limo party or bus party is the best part of the night,” senior Alex Barna said. “For some kids it’s their first time being on a limo and that’s exciting!”
Even parents were confused and outraged by the school’s decision to force students to pay for buses they don’t want. Oddly, no one addressed whether every student would be able to equally afford the $15 for transportation, as some choose to carpool.
“Kids should make their own decision,” parent Linda Barna said. “We’re paying extra buses? I don’t agree with that.”
Some students argued that schools don’t have the authority to dictate what they do off campus. Others reiterated that, even if they are forced to take the buses to and from the prom, those who had planned on partying will still do so, proving that the mandate is ineffective at deterring underage drinking.
“It’s a part of high school life, a part of growing up,” senior Jay Faber said. “I understand things aren’t as safe as they used to be, but we can’t be too closed off to everything.”
Despite the school’s new policy, students expressed their desire to still have fun at prom. There has been no indication that any of the attendees will boycott the ceremony simply because they are forced to go by bus.
A school board meeting is scheduled several weeks before the prom, opening up the superintendent’s decision to debate. Parents and students have promised to protest the mandate during this time.
Unfortunately, the problem with equality of outcome is that it never lifts anyone up. As is the case with the limos, the more successful is brought down to the level of the unfortunate. Instead of having some who are better off, everyone is made equally low.
Of course, one thing promoters of equity never consider is that there is an infinite number of attributes that make us unequal. Would the school ban lavish prom dresses that not everyone can afford, or force everyone to wear uniforms? How about prohibiting dancing so that the unskilled aren’t made to feel inadequate? Should dates be forbidden in case certain individuals can’t find a partner?
Disturbingly, the promotion of equality of outcome over equality of opportunity always leads to tyranny. If the school believes its job is to make its students equal, there is no limit to the amount of power they must use to accomplish this across the endless aspects of individual inequality.