This year, our school district is scheduled to purchase new English textbooks for the students in its seven schools. These will be used for at least six years. Using an estimate of 10,500 students times a price of $30 per student, the expenditure for the textbooks will be $315,000.
In comparison, roughly 1,200 students from these seven high schools spent an average of $500 on the prom. Using this conservative figure, the cost for one night was $600,000. Using a more realistic figure of $800 per couple, the total spent by students was $960,000.
While I consider the prom an important rite of passage and fondly remember my prom held in our high school gym, when one compares $315,000 for six years of passing on the cultural values of society to $600,000-$960,000 for one night of stretch limos, one must ponder priorities and ask: What price memories? One must also wonder if parental money spent so readily on a social event might be as readily expended on school improvements. But perhaps I've missed something here. Perhaps we've all missed something.
DANIEL J. MEYLOR