What better way to put the fun back into prom night than banning limos, party buses or luxury vehicles?
At least, this was the thought process of one New Jersey high school, which has implemented a new policy to ban such vehicles on prom night as way to deal with social inequality. How, exactly, does that work? We have no idea.
According to a report on NJ 101.5, Lakeland Regional High School superintendent Hugh E. Beattie claimed that the new policy is about safety and "equity". He doesn't want students who can't afford a "snazzy ride" to feel left out. Calling it a "group decision made by the Administrative Team", he says the only way to now arrive at the school's prom - being held at the Rockleigh Country Club - is to take a chaperoned school bus at a cost of $15 per person.
That should really ramp up the enjoyment factor of the 45 minute ride students will have to endure on prom night, when it comes around on June 4.
"The decision was made based on the concern over the safety of all our students and in providing equity for all students so that they all could enjoy a shared 'prom experience' despite socio-economic status, and based on the success that other districts have demonstrated utilizing this practice. The district wants to ensure that all students have the equal opportunity to share in a positive, safe and memorable school prom experience."
The "success of other districts" includes Freehold School District, who has bussed its students to its junior prom for 20 years - because the event usually takes place on a cruise boat.
In other words, the district wants prom to be memorable, unless your idea of memorable is flexing your newfound independence and driver's license to roll up to the prom in mom or dad's BMW.
And, surprise: the idea was met with "howls of complaints" from students and parents, who claim that renting a limo is part of prom tradition. One student claimed the limo ride was "the best part of the night." Of course it is; it's much tougher to hide your booze on a school-chartered bus.
New Jersey School Boards Association spokeswoman Janey Bramford backed up the school, saying:
"As a prom is a school-sponsored function, a school district has the authority to make rules concerning the event."
We hope the kids boycott the event and start their own "function", where they are free to arrive and depart in any method they choose.