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Mandatory ATPP overlooks student conflicts

Students+are+required+to+stay+at+the+After+the+Prom+Party+until+3%3A30+a.m.%2C+which+can+be+problematic+for+non-Brookline+residents.
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Mandatory ATPP overlooks student conflicts

Students are required to stay at the After the Prom Party until 3:30 a.m., which can be problematic for non-Brookline residents.

Students are required to stay at the After the Prom Party until 3:30 a.m., which can be problematic for non-Brookline residents.

CONTRIBUTED BY JOANNE LIAUTAUD

Students are required to stay at the After the Prom Party until 3:30 a.m., which can be problematic for non-Brookline residents.

CONTRIBUTED BY JOANNE LIAUTAUD

CONTRIBUTED BY JOANNE LIAUTAUD

Students are required to stay at the After the Prom Party until 3:30 a.m., which can be problematic for non-Brookline residents.

Lena Pontes, Contributing Writer

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At a recent senior assembly, deans announced that the administration will no longer accept parent or student exemptions from the After the Prom Party and, as of this year, all attendees are required to remain in the school building until 3:30 a.m.

Although a mandatory After the Prom Party may seem like a good idea in theory, it is just one more way we see discrimination manifest in our school community. Keeping students in the school building late may feel like a safer option for administrators, and maybe even some parents. But for students without the cookie cutter Brookline background, there’s another problem.

“It’s very inconsiderate. They aren’t taking all the students into consideration,” junior Konah Brownel said when confronted with the new rule and it’s not just her. Several students around Brookline High are frustrated with the supposed safety precaution, and rightly so.

For those who go to the high school by means of tuition paid to the town, or through the METCO program, travelling home after 3:30 a.m. can be a serious struggle. Some students who live in Dorchester, Roxbury or other surrounding towns face the dilemma of red and orange line stops that close a full three hours before they are permitted to leave the school building.

Realistically speaking, nobody’s parents are waking up to drive kids back and forth on a Tuesday morning before sunrise, assuming they even have access to a car.  These students have no way of getting home, doing little in the way of keeping them safe. As a result, many parents and students who live outside of Brookline are weary of prom night events.

“The school can’t do that. I’m mad now. You can’t deprive people of an opportunity that is rewarded to other students just because they live somewhere else. It’s blatantly discriminatory,” junior Rose Roustom said in regards to the bus and train schedule.

This change is turning prom preparations sour for several students who now have concerns much more urgent than their sweetheart neckline.

Furthermore, it’s not just students with difficult living situations who are limited by this new reverse curfew. Many students have other concerns, such as anxiety disorders, and fear serious repercussions for skipping the After the Prom Party or leaving early, such as the possible prohibition of participation in the June graduation ceremony.

Will the new rule be seriously enforced, or is it a dishonest ploy to get more kids to remain in the building? Either way, the student body is facing a seriously insensitive decision on the part of the administration.

Some students are also concerned about their capacity to handle the seven-plus hours of mandatory social interaction, finding prom manageable, but fearing they are not equipped for the late night social hour. Some have even opted for a quieter night.

“There is no tangible reason for the administration to require that,” senior Eddie Lee, who has opted for a quieter evening, said.

For a student who needs to muster a lot of courage to participate in large social events like prom, a mandatory after party may become a tipping point. Although there is nothing wrong with skipping prom, a lot of people, myself included, value the prom as a part of the senior experience.

It is a memory, however cheesy it may be, that can be kept for a long time. Besides, everyone needs an excuse to feel fancy sometimes, and everyone should get the opportunity to do so.

However, sweating under your bow tie due to sleep deprivation and what seems like an endless crowd of unknown faces isn’t really what I would refer to as a fanciful night out. Frankly, for some it’s just too much.

It is an irresponsible decision on the part of the administration to attempt to eliminate the option to go home after prom, excluding so many members of the diverse school community in the process.

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Mandatory ATPP overlooks student conflicts