Demerit and debt requirements for Prom face pushback from students, adjustment from administration


Screenshot from an email sent by Lane administration.

By Aidan Sadovi, Managing Editor

Seniors looking forward to Prom night May 21 at the Sheraton Hotel, may have been hit with a heavy dose of reality when they received emails from the Lane administration on March 4 and 15 detailing requirements that must be met in order to attend. 

Among them were stipulations that school debt must be paid (the debt a student accrues over their four years, including but not limited to fees for buying a new ID and QuickStart expenses) and that a student could not have 15 or more demerits to be able to attend. 

The original deadline to pay the debt and sort out demerits in order to go to prom and a “Grad Nite” event at Six Flags was slated for March 28. 

For some, this communication came too late. 

Senior Halle McKnight told The Champion via Direct Message that she thought Lane “really lacked timing” when it came to the requirement to pay off the debt. 

“Some seniors have so much debt and they are expected to pay it off in such a short amount of time,” McKnight said. “Lane really struggled with time management this year.” 

Lacresha White was one of the students who expressed concern to the administration when the original plan was sent out. 

White said she felt that one of the problems was that it is “very easy to get demerits but very hard to take them off.” 

White also told The Champion that she thought the debt requirement was “unfair” for students in different situations and that if it was a requirement, students should have been told earlier, like over winter break.

“It would be easier for everyone if [Lane] offered payment plans and talked more about fee waivers at the beginning of the year, ” White said.  

White later met with administration in person, focused mostly on the demerits, and said it “went well.” 

She also said that the administration is planning to make a system that effectively counts and updates demerits in order to keep students updated, along with making detentions remove a larger amount. 

A day after the eligibility stipulations were sent out over email on March 15, the administration released a “fast track” plan to help students with large amounts of demerits still be able to attend. 

“Starting Monday from 3/21,” the email reads, “If students can have perfect attendance to school on all days through April 1st, with no absences, tardies, or cuts, they will be eligible for prom, and their demerits will be reset to 0.” 

Once they meet this requirement, students must continue to have zero unexcused absences and less than eight demerits gained for the next three weeks, along with filling out forms on Fridays to make sure they are “on track.” 

Also released on March 18 was a plan to push back the deadline to pay the debt to April 8, and a separate FAQ email about the fast track system. In it were answers to questions like whether school functions count as unexcused absences (they don’t), along with a new demerit limit of less than 19 in order to attend prom.