The principal of Kaynor Tech High School in Connecticut is catching heat for her controversial decision to do away with nominations and voting for the Royal Court of Prom. Instead of students deciding which of their peers should get a cheesy plastic crown and bragging rights at the college freshmen mixer, names will now be selected out of a pool that students will voluntarily enter.
This is supposed to eliminate bullying, which confuses me, because won’t the ‘winner’ be self-nominated? Who but the uber popular kids would enter at all? What about the potential for sabotage? This whole practice was instituted because one student felt that the other kids were going to nominate her as a joke. What’s to stop them from putting her name on all the slips?
Principal Lisa Hylwa stands by her decision for the new prom court selection process, because this makes things, like, totally fair:
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. 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. [Bitterly.]
I’m guessing someone didn’t get invited to her senior prom. But that’s no reason to institute asinine policies to try to curb the asinine behavior of teenagers. Ms. Hylwa is right -- popularity contests abound in high school, and feelings get hurt. Good things happen too ... teenagers ride a roller coaster of hormonal emotions that span the spectrum of human experiences.
I mean, I went from being totally elated at being nominated for Homecoming Princess my junior year of high school to tears when I eventually lost to a classmate. Guess what? I still went to the dance, and I had a blast. And then the next day my boyfriend and I broke up and I was sad again. Roller coaster.
It’s part of growing up, and sparing teenagers from experiences that broaden their outlook on life only creates a group of people that would start the Occupy movement. Life is hard. People are mean. And promotions don’t come from your boss pulling your name out of a hat.
Nominating a Prom King and Queen is silly business to begin with, and to eliminate it gives it more reverence than it deserves. It’s better to hug our kids when they cry, and tell them that there is life after high school.
Image via Robynlou8/Flickr