Premature prom

Why middle school students should not attend prom


Students danced the night away at this year’s Junior/Senior Prom on May 7. How would you respond if an eighth grade student was seated at your table?

Elizabeth Monk, Staff Writer

Girls spend hours searching until they find a dress that makes them feel like a princess. Boys compete to see who can come up with the cutest promposal. Juniors and seniors are finally approaching the night they’ve heard modern-day fairy tales about for their whole lives: prom.

We’ve all heard about freshmen and sophomores going to prom with their older significant other, but there’s usually not an abundance of middle schoolers at the dance. When there is a middle schooler or two, however, it doesn’t tend to sit well with the upperclassmen, and for good reason.

“Middle schoolers just shouldn’t be going with high schoolers,” said senior Denver Smith.

The bottom line is, prom is just not the place for young middle schoolers. There will be an opportunity for them to act like teenagers when they are teenagers, but middle school kids should be acting like kids.

“Things are happening there that they shouldn’t be witnessing,” said senior Jake Gernatt. “Not really bad things, but they shouldn’t be seeing those things.”

Prom is something that should be saved for the right time, and that’s why prom is in high school and not in middle school. Middle schoolers should be going to their own dances and socializing with people their own age.

Mrs. Riehle, school monitor, brought up the point of college students. “We don’t allow some college students at prom because of their age, so we shouldn’t allow middle schoolers for the same reason.”

Prom is seen as an important rite of passage for high schoolers, so doesn’t it make sense that everyone waits their turn? We wait for other rites of passage, like driving a car and graduating, so shouldn’t we have to wait for prom? Many juniors and seniors didn’t even have the opportunity to go to prom until this year, and it probably seems unfair to them that middle schoolers are allowed to go.

This also begs the question: Should middle schoolers even be in a relationship with high school upperclassmen? Of course, maturity is a key factor in all of this, but there are few middle schoolers who are mature enough to be in a relationship with another middle schooler for more than a month or two, let alone with someone who is almost an adult.

Going to prom as a middle schooler while in a relationship that ends poorly could ruin the prom experience altogether and taint it with painful memories.

There is a simple solution to all of these issues: make prom exclusive to only high schoolers. Middle schoolers have their own dances for a reason.

Middle school is an important time of a child’s life. It should be spent awkwardly doing the Cupid Shuffle in the heavily chaperoned middle school gym while wearing a shirt that has “Hollister” on the front in cursive letters, not dancing provocatively with someone five years older.

Adviser’s note: In response to this editorial, Dr. Anderson pointed out that only one middle school student attended this year’s prom, which included approximately 125 students. Parent permission is required from both the date’s and the guest’s parents in such situations. Dr. Anderson also said, “The prom is a highly structured and chaperoned evening.”