The latest trend? Canceling proms as decadent
Underlying the concern seems to be a widespread uncertainty about the coming-of-age ritual embodied in the modern prom - the $500 to $1,000 spent on dress, limo and parties before and after the actual event. It has become not uncommon for parents to sign leases for houses, where couples room together, for post-prom weekend events or for parents to authorize boat excursions in which under-age drinking is not just winked at but expected.
Trumping it all, of course, is the uncertainty about sex.
"Common parlance tells us that this is a time to lose one's virginity," Brother Hoagland and other administrators of Kellenberg High wrote in a letter to parents in March, warning them that the prom might be canceled unless parents stopped financing what, in effect, the school considered bacchanals. "It is a time of heightened sexuality in a culture of anything goes," the letter added. "The prom has become a sexual focal point. This is supposed to be a dance, not a honeymoon."
Six months after the initial letter, administrators canceled the prom by fiat, citing not just sex and alcohol use, but also what they described as materialism run amok.
You don't say.