April 12 is St. Augustine High School’s senior prom. But for some students who planned to go, it’s suddenly just another Friday night.
Students have to meet certain requirements to be eligible to go to prom; including having good grades, not missing too many days or being late to class too many times.
Rachel Smith said Friday the school signed off on her son’s prom request. So they bought prom tickets, rented a tux. But then the school called two days before prom to say her son wasn’t eligible after all.
That’s what made her angry.
“They didn’t do their due diligence the first go-round when checking the students off for approval and now they’re going back and trying to recalibrate on all of that at the expense of the kids who thought they were all good to go.”
St Johns County School District spokeswoman Christina Langston said the eligibility requirements shouldn’t have come as a surprise. “In that they had a meeting in January. They also have it in their student handbook. They also had a note that went home. And the students and parents could also track any tardies and absences throughout the school year on our home access system”
Langston said ineligible students who bought prom tickets will be reimbursed.
Smith’s son Tray Chastain lost out on prom because of class tardiness.
He said he’s not sure what the lesson is from this experience.
“Don’t be late anymore, I guess? Honestly I don’t really have much to take away, I guess, per se. It’s just kind of like now that it’s too late, it’s too late - can’t really change anything.”
Chastain’s girlfriend attends a different school. So while he isn’t be going to his own prom, he said he’ll get to wear his rented tux when he goes to hers.