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Valley Perspective | LETTERS TO THE VALLEY EDITION

High School Proms

April 12, 1998

Every year at this time, we are inflicted with stories of how a select few high school graduates are going to have a great time at some outrageously expensive graduation activity in which most of the students cannot afford to participate.

Instead of glamorizing and encouraging this excluding social behavior, I believe your paper and the school faculties should be discouraging prom night celebrations that inflict damaging sets of values on many of the students and exclude most.

All of the graduates should be involved in the celebration and, in some places, still are.

The value to the students in ending their high school days with an organized dance at their own gym, which they all share in preparing and look forward to enjoying, is in sharp contrast to what is happening now, with the vast majority of students left out of the proudest moment in many of their lives, embittered that they and their families could not afford to squander perhaps a $1,000 on a snobbish indulgence.

As a worthy public service, local newspapers should greatly encourage and cover those increasingly fewer schools that still hold their own well-chaperoned dances: old-fashioned, American-style proms, decorated and prepared by the grads themselves and attended by all, with proper security. Encourage safe, affordable proms held close to home and discourage these limo extravaganzas!

It is not too late.

ALEX SHEPPARD

Reseda

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