"Progressive societies cared for their children by emphasising play and schooling; parents were expected to shelter and protect their children’s innocence by keeping them from paid work and the wrong kinds of knowledge ... adolescence soon became a vision of normal development that was applicable to all youth – its bridging character (connecting childhood and adulthood) giving young Americans a structured way to prepare for mating and work. In the 21st century, the bridge is sagging at both ends as the innocence of childhood has become more difficult to protect, and adulthood is long delayed." [more inside]
Wilcox County High School is a small, rural school, located three hours south of Atlanta. Recently, in a school district that serves some 1,300 students in total. The high school has been in the news for it's continued tradition of holding segregated proms, and for the efforts of some of the local students to raise funds to hold the first officially integrated prom in the community's history. Though, most students were welcome to the "black prom," the first officially integrated prom happened this past Saturday. So many donors came forward, from around the world, that the students say they have money left over to help local families in need. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean an end to the community's history of segregated proms, as the "white prom" was still held, but a week earlier in Fitzgerald, Georgia, less than 10 miles south of the Wilcox County border. [more inside]
Prom spending rising again, average of $1,139 The USA Today story is based on a recent VISA press release about prom spending that comes out every year. The VISA press release breaks down how prom spending is highest among Northeastern families, with Northeasterners averaging $1,528 compared to Midwesterners paltry $722. It also shows a breakdown by income category with families earning less than $50,000 spending an average of $1,245 while those from higher earning families spend $1,129. [more inside]
So you're a senior and prom is approaching. The last big event of your high school career, and you don't have a date. What to do? Maybe use your Twitter account to ask Internet porn stars to go with you. Alas, it turns out your school district is the enemy of fun.
Let's Go to the Morgue! features images dug up from the San Francisco Chronicle's basement photo archives. Peter Hartlaub got distracted from his parenting blog to find and caption vintage photos of Golden Gate BART and Other Failed Rapid Transit Dreams, Sexy time! Five decades of Bay Area bathing suits, Tourist season in San Francisco, Six decades of roller derby in the Bay Area, When arcades ruled the Bay Area and A journey back to your high school prom. [more inside]
Constance McMillen receives $35,000 in a settlement with the Mississippi school district that cancelled her prom. Previously. [more inside]
Constance McMillan, an 18yo lesbian graduating from high school in Itawamba County, Miss., was told she couldn't bring a female date to the prom because of county rules against bringing same-sex dates. The school district in fact canceled the prom rather than let a same-sex couple attend. After a judge ruled that doing so violated Constance's civil rights, Constance was told (after long evasions and no answers as to details of the party) that the prom would be held at a country club Friday night in Fulton, Miss. When she got to the club with her date, she found out that the parents and rest of the students had scheduled second prom at a different, secret location. Five other students were directed to the prom Constance & her date were sent to, including two students with learning disabilities. The school principal & 2 teacher acted as chaperones for the seven students at the country club.
On the one hand, it ensures slow dancin' teens keep a safe distance apart. On the other, well, there's the sightline issue. Will it give geeks the nerve to dance with a partner? Covert Athletics presents Pong Prom. Can literally gettin' it on like Donkey Kong be next?
Does getting lucky at the prom equate to more Winter Babies? What does that mean economically?
Out of Sight : Photographer Sarah Wilson photographs the prom at Texas' School for the Blind & Visually Impaired. [via] [more inside]
Cutenewsfilter: Fresno, California high school crowns first transgender prom queen. Woot!
Steuard Jensen for Prom King! Three nerds get the resident high school science geek on the ballot for Prom King, and...well, you'll have to read the story to get the answer. Like in fiction, sometimes in real life the protagonist/hero comes from the most unexpected position.
Stuck to their prom dates. Since 2001, Duck brand duct tape has sponsored a scholarship contest, open to any high school students willing to go to prom in outfits made of duct tape. This year's fashions range from the classic silver to wilder colors and patterns, and occasionally veer into the just plain strange. Dip into the archives for more.
Upon this desiccating planet, will I employ religion to increase pain threshold. Why? So I may get my freak on.
Prom Story In a series of essays at Slate (1, 2, 3) a journalist in his mid-20s lightheartedly recounts the experience of escorting a 17-year-old girl to her high-school prom (purely for journalistic purposes, it's worth noting). Posters at Slate's reader discussion forum, in spite of its supremely cumbersome interface, express their strong (and not always coherent) disapproval, based mostly on the age difference between the author and his prom date. The author of the essays responds: "As the film critic Richard Roeper (who is much older, and much more influential than myself) pointed out in Esquire recently, this is indeed a strange cultural moment, one made all the stranger by the fact that we're not supposed to admit [it] actually exists." I'm not the biggest fan of journalists who engage in seemingly socially taboo behavior for the sole purpose of writing an article, but this made for interesting reading nonetheless.
Geek Prom Has been going on for a handful of years now, here is an older news story 'bout it. That is all, nothing earth shattering. Cheers
Georgia high school has white only prom....dunno what else to say about that.
Prom for the young at heart. A Milwaukee woman raises awareness about Alzheimers using a high school theme and some creativity.
The Prom is On for a gay teen who wants to take his boyfriend to his prom at a Roman Catholic school, as ordered by the court. This dispute has been making news in Canada for a few weeks. I thought it an interesting story because it touches on sexuality, morality, law, the church and education all at once. I wasn't out when my prom came around, so I went with a friend who knew about me. We had a blast, but a more romantic date would have been nice too.
Prom dresses getting skimpier (NB: New York Times link). I have to believe that Principal Matakovich would have made prom night a quick roundtrip home for any girl who showed up at the San Luis Obispo High School prom dressed in one of these ... (although one hesitates to use Size 2 Spence girls as a firm sign of a trend).
Kudos to the students at Ferndale High in Washington State. Not only for breaking down some barriers, but also for being more mature than most of the adults involved with the school. And, for you readers that have not cast Salon.com into the darkest pits of your memory banks, here's their article which has a surprising, and refreshing, quote from the prom queen.
Who knew? Apparently porn spammers were actually providing us with valuable service all along! (Me, I'm springing for the penis enlargement.)