For most upperclassmen, prom is a magical night that students wait all four years of high school to experience. This year, prom night will be different than in past years.
A former Blind Brook senior recalled that in the past, prom night began with pre-prom, with most students meeting up at one specific area, usually on Red Roof Drive, for the sole purpose of taking pictures with their friends, family, and the rest of the community. They then boarded their respective buses and headed to wherever prom was being held that year. Following the dance, students would go back on their bus, and eventually as the night took its course, usually including a post prom stop or two, they would end up at the elementary school in the bus they had rented. These buses would have already been arranged privately by the students and their parents, with the students arranging with friends to share a bus.
However, for the first time this year, the order of events will play out differently than in previous years.
Principal Patricia Lambert came up with the idea of having Blind Brook rent buses for this year’s prom goers. Her conditions were that pre-prom has to be held at the school, under faculty supervision. Those buses will then transport students to the venue, where students have to remain for the entirety of the event, and drop them off at the school at the conclusion of the dance. Blind Brook will not be providing transportation for the student organized events that follow.
A current Blind Brook senior has her own safety concerns with Lambert’s plan: “[Mrs. Lambert’s] gesture is intended to be nice and helpful; however, it is creating some problems in what is usually a planned out, smooth prom day and night. People will have their after-prom rides ready and waiting for them at the school before the buses that Blind Brook has rented get there, creating a chaotic parking lot and putting people in danger.” Said senior is concerned that there will be a lot of unplanned chaos after the prom, because cars, buses, darkness, tiredness, and an abundance of students in a parking lot do not exactly mix. She does, however, want to be clear that she feels Mrs. Lambert was extremely kind for renting the buses for the students.
Principal Lambert has a different take on the subject.
“Finally this year everything came together. We had the funding, and we had unanimous support from the parties of the Shared Decision Making Team. This is 100% happening. As much as some people would like to believe it is not; it is.”
Regarding the dangers of the parking lot that some students had pointed out, Lambert said, “I guess we will have to play it by ear to wait and see what happens. What some kids have been telling me so far is that they plan on bringing their party buses here, so it would not be large scale [chaos]. At this point, I have no reason to believe that it is going to be anymore chaotic than it would be normally.”
Lambert spoke with the senior class officers to address their concerns. Lily Kamin, one of the officers, said, “I was really disappointed to hear the news that we would not be allowed to choose our own prom buses. It has been a senior tradition for years, and I am sad that now for my senior year I will not be able to participate in it.” Many other seniors have been looking forward to the many perks and traditions that come with a senior year at Blind Brook, like painting the rock, getting out of gym, and all of the aspects of prom. Having one of these traditions taken away from them was deemed as unfair by many. Many of these seniors do not want to go down without a fight: “The seniors attempted to fight for what they believed in, but were not listened to,” said Kamin.
Besides the senior class officers, Lambert has met with individual students as well. Numerous students have thanked her for doing it, including two male students who were very appreciative of Lambert’s solution because they did not want to “deal with the party buses.”
Lambert sent out a letter on March 8 addressing the situation. The letter stated Lambert’s reasons for why she chose to change prom busing situation this year. It read, “feelings are hurt, friendships are damaged, and students are alienated…students have become sick necessitating a ‘pay off’ to the driver to continue the trip… year after year [the faculty] hear[s] students lament the fact that the actual prom was the best part of the evening and regret that they didn’t appreciate it at the time.”