Senior's prom request denied

By Georgia Sparling | Mar 02, 2017

Mattapoisett — The Old Rochester Regional School Committee denied senior Sara Achorn’s request to allow her 21-year-old boyfriend to attend the prom, but the members did approve students’ request to hold their prom at Belle Mer in Newport.

Achorn presented her case at the committee’s previous meeting and again on Thursday.

“He’s a pretty standup guy,” she said, adding that she would “take full responsibility” if he disobeyed any of the school’s rules.

The school handbook states that no one aged 21 or older can attend the event.

Achorn, 18, reasoned that if a freshman and a senior who have a three year age difference can go to prom, she and her boyfriend should also be able to go together.

School Committee member Cary Humphrey responded that freshmen are subject to their parents while a 21-year-old isn’t.

Plus, “if we make an exception for twenty-one, somebody in the future will want an exception for twenty-two and then it gets out of control,” he said.

Committee Chair Tina Rood said the same request was made and denied last year and that the policy is already in place.

Another member, Heather Burke, commended Achorn on her presentation but agreed with Rood.

“The policy is the policy. We have to make sure that we’re being fair to all. My heart goes out to you,” she said.

Five members of the committee voted to uphold the policy. Paul Goulet, Peter LeBrun and Cheryl Hebert abstained from the vote.

The group did vote unanimously to approve the location of the senior prom this year. Since it is in Newport, and thereby out of the state, the matter had to come before the School Committee.

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