The principal of a Connecticut high school is defending her decision to end the longtime tradition of allowing students to vote for a prom king and queen over fears that the winners might be bullied.
But students at Kaynor Tech High School in Waterbury, Conn. have accused Principal Lisa Hylwa of bowing to political correctness.
In the past, the prom court was selected by a student vote. But Hylwa said she wanted to keep drama out of the prom and stop bullying. Instead, students who attended prom were invited to put their names in a box and the court was selected randomly.
“A lot of kids just think it’s unfair because you know, it’s a prom tradition,” student Jennifer Buonocore told television station WTNH. The station reported that it was flooded with comments from students wondering why the tradition was changed.
“This method gives everyone the same opportunity o be a member of the prom court and it supports the positive spirit of our school, period,” Hylwa wrote in a terse email to Fox News Radio. “There is no hidden agenda with this, no reason for ‘hurt feelings’ or adding another issue on to a teenager’s full plate that could ‘spark’ jealousy, ‘mean behavior’ or bullying.”
The principal said the new way of selecting a prom court “eliminates the avenue for the pressure to vote for members of the clique in charge or for any other issues that could open the door to amplified drama which may lead to any type of ‘mean behavior’ or equity controversy.”
She said the traditional method of voting for prom king and king was “beyond obsolete.”
“There was no option for the student or students who did the most for the class to win or a ‘noble’ reason such as a child who was terminally ill winning the prize,” she wrote. “This was a popularity contest with no criteria. The fact is, there are enough popularity contests in high school so why sponsor another one that may have negative consequences?”
“Cliques are real bullies by the way,” she added.
Hylwa said she feared a “Carrie” incident at this year’s prom, referring to the 1976 horror film.
“A student did complain on Facebook and to the school staff that she/he could not sleep the night before because she/he feared being bullied by being selected as prom queen,” she wrote. “It was going to be a mean spirited prank. She was not sure.”
“I was not taking a chance,” the principal said. “Sounds like ‘Carrie’ but we can’t brush it aside in today’s atmosphere. Connecticut has the CT Bullying Law and we are not playing in the Nutmeg state.”
But students like Buonocore said there’s no bullying at the prom.
“I don’t feel like anyone in our class would ever do something like that or in the junior class, that’s just mean and we’re not mean,” she told the television station.
But the principal said the new rules won’t be changed.
“I have no more time to waste on this ‘non story’,” she wrote. “I have a serious job to do.”
Todd is the author of “Dispatches From Bitter America – Culture War Stories from a Gun-toting, Chicken-eating, Son-of-a-Baptist.” The book is endorsed by Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and Sarah Palin. Click here to get your copy!