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Posted: 4/16/2006 3:28:46 AM EST


www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/14348850.htm

Too senior for prom
21-year-old boyfriend can't escort 18-year-old

By RYAN LaFONTAINE
rlafontaine@sunherald.com

CARRIERE - U.S. Marines can travel "from the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli," but not to the senior prom at Pearl River Central High School.

The school's age policy prohibits a high school senior from taking her 21-year-old boyfriend to the prom.

Christopher Raffo and Leah Lott, students at different schools, began dating about four years ago, when both were lifeguards at Hide-A-Way Lake.

He was a senior and she was a freshman, and since then, they have dated off and on.

Now Lott is a senior at Pearl River Central and Raffo is a Marine headed to Iraq in September, and their relationship is as strong as ever.

"We're always goofing off together," Lott said. "We get along so well, and we have been talking about getting married; when you love someone so much, there's no doubt in your mind."

Lott reserved a dress for her May 13 senior prom, and Raffo is scheduled to be home for 30 days. Everything seemed to be working out perfectly.

Except that the Pearl River Central School Board says Raffo is too old for the prom.

Earlier this month, board members listened to pleas from Lott and her parents, and Raffo's parents, asking to allow the couple to attend the prom.

The board chose to discuss the matter and vote behind closed doors, and then tell Lott the outcome the next morning at school.

"My principal wanted me to go see him in the morning on my break after first period," Lott said. "He told me they set a rule and they're not making any exceptions; I cried all of second period."

State law allows public boards to hold secret sessions if they chose. Elected officials are not required nor can they be forced to discuss the public's business in private.

School boards will often use executive sessions to discuss matters that concern a student, which was the reason the PRC board chose to discuss the issue in private, according to board attorney Nathan Farmer.

However, the Lotts and Raffos had already given public statements during the meeting and used real names.

"It's my senior year, and then to get the news that he is going to Iraq," Lott said, pausing to fight back tears. "My senior prom is a big event, and the big events mean the most to me."

Though the couple is not allowed to attend the prom, the school's principal did say they could stop by for a few minutes to take photos, but then they would have to leave, according to Lott.

"We're not going," Lott said. "We're not getting all dressed up just to go take pictures."

According to the school attorney, the board adopted an age policy about two years ago, prohibiting students from bringing dates who are 21 or older to high school dances.

Superintendent Dennis Penton said the policy was made to apply some consistency.

"The reason for the policy is that there was such a great age discrepancy between the students and their dates, and to have some consistency they simply chose an age limit," he said.

Neither PRC Principal Lauren Harris, nor other school board members returned messages left by the Sun Herald on Thursday seeking comment.

It's unclear why the board adopted the policy, but some parents believe worries over alcohol being smuggled into the dance prompted the rule. Pearl River is a dry county.

Sherwin Taylor, who joined the board in January, could not say whether alcohol played a part in adopting the policy, but said this is not the first time the policy has been enforced.

"We had students in the past who wanted to bring older students with them, and that's the policy - no one over 21," he said.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 3:32:55 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 3:33:05 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 3:36:14 AM EST
There should be an exception if the younger person is 18.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 3:37:27 AM EST
Welcome to the dumb and dumber, 21 years old is not that old.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 3:40:27 AM EST
As a parent, I can kind of see the schools concern. However, my wife and I are 4 years apart, and I took her to her Sr. Prom. I was 21 and she was 17 at the time. We went to prom, then went to her high school for project prom and had a blast. My age never came up as an issue, and I was perfect gentleman the entire time.

Remember the Alamo, and God Bless Texas...
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 3:41:14 AM EST
To me this is nothing unusual because this the typical over-reaction in the public schools do today.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 3:44:18 AM EST
She should tell the school asshats to fuck off. Then they should go out on their own and have a great time without all of the silly, moronic, and childish crap that dance will have.

Screw those uptight weenies! In the grand scheme of life, that dance don't mean a hill of beans.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 3:46:26 AM EST
So I guess this means that Johnny Loser can't take his mom to the prom?
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 3:50:30 AM EST
The Marine should go anyway, in his dress blues looking like a million bucks. And a cameraman should go with him. If the school goons give him any crap, then their gestapo asses will be all over the local newspaper for harassing a serviceman. They don't want any of that, so they'll let him in. Pretty simple.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 4:00:34 AM EST

Originally Posted By Dominus:
The Marine should go anyway, in his dress blues looking like a million bucks. And a cameraman should go with him. If the school goons give him any crap, then their gestapo asses will be all over the local newspaper for harassing a serviceman. They don't want any of that, so they'll let him in. Pretty simple.



pretty simple.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 4:04:13 AM EST
18 hummm I am thinking she is an ADULT. I they should go have their own prom elsewhere.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 4:04:47 AM EST

Originally Posted By HillBillySasquatch:

Originally Posted By Dominus:
The Marine should go anyway, in his dress blues looking like a million bucks. And a cameraman should go with him. If the school goons give him any crap, then their gestapo asses will be all over the local newspaper for harassing a serviceman. They don't want any of that, so they'll let him in. Pretty simple.



pretty simple.



+1 for that
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 4:04:48 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/16/2006 4:05:04 AM EST by NoSoupForYou]
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 4:08:12 AM EST

Originally Posted By Hawkeye:
Lets not think, lets just act like robots.


It's easier to quote policy than articulate your position on why something is right or wrong.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 4:09:56 AM EST
Why is his age even brought into this to begin with? I've never heard of people being id'ed for a prom, if they had a ticket and weren't out of dress code, they were let in.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 4:14:28 AM EST
I bet you a nickel that if it was a homosexual couple they would have made an exception to celebrate 'diversity'. I'm not homophobic at all, just pointing out the hippocrisy of the Left. And if anyone complained, they would be expelled from the prom.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 4:29:35 AM EST

Originally Posted By C-4:
I bet you a nickel that if it was a homosexual couple they would have made an exception to celebrate 'diversity'. I'm not homophobic at all, just pointing out the hippocrisy of the Left. And if anyone complained, they would be expelled from the prom.



The fact this story is from MS, I don't know how well that would fly.

Given where this is happening, it *really* pisses me off. Seattle, SFO or Boston... yes, but Mississippi?
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 4:32:07 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 4:43:49 AM EST

Originally Posted By Airwolf:

Originally Posted By C-4:
I bet you a nickel that if it was a homosexual couple they would have made an exception to celebrate 'diversity'. I'm not homophobic at all, just pointing out the hippocrisy of the Left. And if anyone complained, they would be expelled from the prom.



The fact this story is from MS, I don't know how well that would fly.

Given where this is happening, it *really* pisses me off. Seattle, SFO or Boston... yes, but Mississippi?



Unfortunately, the education system everywhere is 'infected' with Socialists/Left Wingnuts. But I agree it would be a much more likely scenario in SFO, Boston, etc.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:03:53 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/16/2006 5:04:17 AM EST by metalsaber]
Reason for special session = so they didn't have to deal with the parents about the decision.

Talking to the girl 1 on 1 = win for school since the heads there can buffalo a teenager rather than parents.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:07:58 AM EST

Originally Posted By Hawkeye:
Lets not think, lets just act like robots.


Problem being is that you have to enforce a policy uniformily or it looks like you are playing favorites in a given dispute when you start straying from the policy.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:12:01 AM EST
Suppose that the boyfriend isn't a Marine, but an ex-con. Do you still feel the same way?

Yet if you allow the 21 year old Marine, how can you exclude the 21 year old ex-con?

What if the boyfriend was a 35 year old Marine? How about then? Where do you draw the line?

Just curious as the reactions of those who have posted and those that may weigh in.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:14:03 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:16:12 AM EST
Here is a link to their homepage

www.prc.k12.ms.us/highschool.html

board members:
www.prc.k12.ms.us/schoolboard.html
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:25:50 AM EST
The age thing is BS.

Its her prom if she has a older boyfriend then he should be allowed to go.

Hell at my prom (1988) there were plenty of girls that had 20-21yr old dates.

I went to my first wife's prom and I was 21 and she was 18.

Stupid rule, if they had to put a age limit make it 24 or so.

FREE


Originally Posted By gopeterson:
Suppose that the boyfriend isn't a Marine, but an ex-con. Do you still feel the same way?

Yet if you allow the 21 year old Marine, how can you exclude the 21 year old ex-con?

What if the boyfriend was a 35 year old Marine? How about then? Where do you draw the line?

Just curious as the reactions of those who have posted and those that may weigh in.

Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:35:04 AM EST

Originally Posted By Citabria7GCBC:
18 hummm I am thinking she is an ADULT. I they should go have their own prom elsewhere.



+1

They should just spend an evening going to some high class dinner and a show and forget that her high school prom ever happened.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:38:27 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/16/2006 5:38:50 AM EST by Paul]
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:51:45 AM EST
We're talking about Mississippi.

Since when has age ever been an issue?
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:56:46 AM EST
Aren't school board members elected?
Hmmmmm, time to show them the error of their ways via the door.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 6:06:08 AM EST
Well this is just straight up retarded.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 6:06:37 AM EST

Originally Posted By Paul:
WTF?

Oh, concerns over drug abuse!


It's unclear why the board adopted the policy, but some parents believe worries over alcohol being smuggled into the dance prompted the rule. Pearl River is a dry county.


Dry counties






LOL is right. The best drugs are found at high schools. I always get a good laught at the 'Drug-Free School Zone' signs.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 6:09:51 AM EST

Originally Posted By gopeterson:
Suppose that the boyfriend isn't a Marine, but an ex-con. Do you still feel the same way?

Yet if you allow the 21 year old Marine, how can you exclude the 21 year old ex-con?

What if the boyfriend was a 35 year old Marine? How about then? Where do you draw the line?

Just curious as the reactions of those who have posted and those that may weigh in.




Well, I don't think that barring felons is such a bad idea, to be honest...



- georgestrings
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 6:11:43 AM EST

Originally Posted By georgestrings:

Originally Posted By gopeterson:
Suppose that the boyfriend isn't a Marine, but an ex-con. Do you still feel the same way?

Yet if you allow the 21 year old Marine, how can you exclude the 21 year old ex-con?

What if the boyfriend was a 35 year old Marine? How about then? Where do you draw the line?

Just curious as the reactions of those who have posted and those that may weigh in.




Well, I don't think that barring felons is such a bad idea, to be honest...



- georgestrings

The only way to do that would be to check everyone.

That's all we need, a NICS check to get into a school dance.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 6:16:52 AM EST

Originally Posted By Chimpy:
Why is his age even brought into this to begin with? I've never heard of people being id'ed for a prom, if they had a ticket and weren't out of dress code, they were let in.

At my prom in 98 ( I didn't go) you had to have an ID for each person you bought a ticket for, and they copied the ID onto each ticket, then it was rechecked at the door. To make sure that policy was an absolute total waste of time, you also had to have a school ID to get in when you arrived. Of course they weren't telling students that when they were paying 20 bucks a ticket, non refundable. So girls were buying tickets for their older boyfriends or boyfriends that went to different highschools then they were being turned away at the door the night of prom. Last I heard, nothing has changed. Small town politics are wonderful.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 6:32:38 AM EST
I can understand the policy as well as the fact that if you make an exception then you have to make it for everyone, hence end of policy. Oh well.

Maybe 21 is a little young, maybe not. 24 is ridiculous. Who in the hell would want thier 14 year olds at such an event and what kind of 24 year old would want to hang out with them????

Yeah, that question answers its self.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 6:32:50 AM EST

Originally Posted By gopeterson:
Suppose that the boyfriend isn't a Marine, but an ex-con. Do you still feel the same way?

Yet if you allow the 21 year old Marine, how can you exclude the 21 year old ex-con?

What if the boyfriend was a 35 year old Marine? How about then? Where do you draw the line?

Just curious as the reactions of those who have posted and those that may weigh in.



Easy - you tell him he can't fucking come. This whole "everything needs to be equal for everyone all of the time, and we can't judge each case on its own merits" shit has to stop.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 6:34:59 AM EST
Typical media B.S.

It doesn't have ANYTHING to do with the fact that he is a Marine, but entirely with their "age policy"

Why are they even bringing up the fact that he's a Marine, when it's about him being 21?

Link Posted: 4/16/2006 6:37:10 AM EST

Originally Posted By PeteCO:

Originally Posted By gopeterson:
Suppose that the boyfriend isn't a Marine, but an ex-con. Do you still feel the same way?

Yet if you allow the 21 year old Marine, how can you exclude the 21 year old ex-con?

What if the boyfriend was a 35 year old Marine? How about then? Where do you draw the line?

Just curious as the reactions of those who have posted and those that may weigh in.



Easy - you tell him he can't fucking come. This whole "everything needs to be equal for everyone all of the time, and we can't judge each case on its own merits" shit has to stop.



I agree with you but some asshole libtard judge will shove that shit up your ass with a candle on it.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 6:39:43 AM EST

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By Hawkeye:
Lets not think, lets just act like robots.


It's easier to quote policy than articulate your position on why something is right or wrong.




There's the entire basis of "zero tolerance" policy.

Link Posted: 4/16/2006 6:43:54 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/16/2006 6:46:10 AM EST by pv74]

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
Typical media B.S.

It doesn't have ANYTHING to do with the fact that he is a Marine, but entirely with their "age policy"

Why are they even bringing up the fact that he's a Marine, when it's about him being 21?




You know darn well why..

To juice up the story... It throws patriotism and emotion into it.

If it was joe loser down the street you would not be hearing about this.

At least the Marine is cast in a positive light.

The policy is BS anyways...
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 6:50:43 AM EST

Originally Posted By SP1Grrl:
Nice.

You can serve our country, but you can't go to prom.




I'm not bashing, but..........

I am sure if he was a student there he could attend the prom. I am sure being a Marine has NOTHING to do with it, especially since this rule has been in affect for 2 years.

When I was in school(1984-1988), we couldn't even bring an underclassmen to Senoir prom. It was SENIOR Prom!


Not agreeing with the rules, BTW!!

Travis
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 6:54:12 AM EST

Originally Posted By gopeterson:
Suppose that the boyfriend isn't a Marine, but an ex-con. Do you still feel the same way?
Yet if you allow the 21 year old Marine, how can you exclude the 21 year old ex-con?

What if the boyfriend was a 35 year old Marine? How about then? Where do you draw the line?

Just curious as the reactions of those who have posted and those that may weigh in.




Just what I was thinking, everyone is acting like this is some discrimmination against a Marine. I seriouslly doubt it unless the school could see 2 years into the future.

I am sure it originally had to do with achohol and minors?

Who knows?

Travis
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 7:04:48 AM EST
This rule was probably started to keep Shaniqua's three babies daddies from selling her ass and crack at the school........
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 7:09:14 AM EST
sad

I was 22 when I escorted a young lady to prom who had been stood up by a navy enlisted man for her prom date. It was a favor to my sponsor parents at the academy.

I had more fun at that prom than I had at my own

Link Posted: 4/16/2006 7:12:19 AM EST
A couple girls I knew had to get their boyfriends to sign a form in order to escort them to prom; apparently the age gap was too large or something, I dunno.

Stupid.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 7:12:27 AM EST

Originally Posted By PeteCO:
Easy - you tell him he can't fucking come. This whole "everything needs to be equal for everyone all of the time, and we can't judge each case on its own merits" shit has to stop.


And thereby open yourself up for lawsuits due to accusations of discriminatory behavior, as I said earlier.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 7:16:53 AM EST

Originally Posted By AZMAN-1:
This rule was probably started to keep Shaniqua's three babies daddies from selling her ass and crack at the school........hr


Link Posted: 4/16/2006 7:21:05 AM EST
It's best this way. If the guy was to show up in his dress blues, half the girls there would go nuts over him. All their dates would then feel inadequate.

I doubt he would want to wear his dress blues though. Once you put on the uniform, you assume a whole set or rules and regulations with it. When on leave, that's something you are trying to get away from for awhile.

What really is apparant there is that the school administrators and school board don't want to make decisions on a case by case basis so citing a rule is the easiest way not tohave to do this.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 7:25:01 AM EST
She is 18 so the school can f$#K off.

He is a marine so the school can f$#K off twice.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 7:40:58 AM EST

Originally Posted By Paul:
WTF?

Oh, concerns over drug abuse!


It's unclear why the board adopted the policy, but some parents believe worries over alcohol being smuggled into the dance prompted the rule. Pearl River is a dry county.


Dry counties






Nobody at my prom as 21. And we had plenty of alochol.
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