Once Upon A Time In Long Island
A Catholic high school principal in relatively affluent Long Island made a pre-emptive strike on prom debauchery:
Brother Kenneth M. Hoagland had heard all the stories about prom-night debauchery at his Long Island high school: Students putting down $10,000 to rent a party house in the Hamptons. Pre-prom cocktail parties followed by a trip to the dance in a liquor-loaded limo. Fathers chartering a boat for their children's late-night "booze cruise."You can bet dollars to donuts that this is going to get reversed. As the sun rises in the east, so will affluent parents have their prom, even if they have to put it on themselves.
Enough was enough, Hoagland said. So the principal of Kellenberg Memorial High School canceled the spring prom in a 2,000-word letter to parents this fall.
"It is not primarily the sex/booze/drugs that surround this event, as problematic as they might be; it is rather the flaunting of affluence, assuming exaggerated expenses, a pursuit of vanity for vanity's sake in a word, financial decadence," Hoagland said, fed up with what he called the "bacchanalian aspects."
"A lot of people have lamented the growing consumption that surrounds the prom," she said, noting it is not uncommon for students to pay $1,000 on the dance and surrounding folderol: expensive dresses, tuxedo rentals, flowers, limousines, pre- and post-prom parties.