With cancelation after cancelation, the 2020-2021 school year has been quite a ride.
In early March Cedar Shoals announced a seniors-only prom to be held on April 17, 2021. By April 2, the event was once again canceled.
“We just made the decision to cancel prom due to lack of interest. This year was seniors only, and we thought there might be 100 or so students and we were hoping for at least 50 to hold the event. But with only 30 people showing interest it just didn’t seem worth the cost,” coordinator and 10th grade English teacher Mrs. Alicia Harvey said.
The cancelation of prom was not unexpected, but the reason for it was what took people by surprise.
“I thought more people would want to participate since we’ve already missed out on so much,” senior Illandria Ellison said. “Prom was a huge part of our year, and it’s something that no one would want to miss.”
Safety concerns were brought up by students as well as the normalcy of the event.
“This year it really hasn’t felt like a senior year,” senior Taylor Jones said. “Because of COVID, prom will obviously have restrictions and I know that I really can’t genuinely have fun going to prom if I have to worry about getting sick.”
When prom was first announced, Ellison was excited to attend.
“It’s my last year of school. Prom is the last thing I’m really going to experience. We’ve already missed out on so much, so if we have the opportunity to do something, I’m going to take it,” Ellison said before the cancelation.
The theme ‘Arabian Nights’ was being reused from the canceled 2020 prom. In order to ensure safety, the plan was to hold the event on the patio outside the cafeteria.
“As we were looking for venues that would be safe, we realized that our campus is beautiful and the patio would be a great option for a safe outdoor space to hold prom,” Harvey said. “However, I didn’t want to buy an expensive tent that we wouldn’t use and not get a refund on.”
Since this is the second year that prom has been canceled, Harvey decided that the prom committee would start fresh for the 2022 prom.
“I hate it for the kids because prom is always a very special time and memory and I hate that now for two years we have not been able to hold it. I’m hoping that everything will be back on schedule next year. I’ve already started planning next year,” Harvey said.
Alternatives to canceling the prom were brought up, but it was too late to make any changes.
“We thought about inviting juniors, but at that point it was just so close to the event that it just felt like it wasn’t going to happen,” Harvey said. “We already had the decorations, the decorator, the DJ, and things were all set but there didn’t seem to be enough interest.”
Ellison says she hoped for alternate solutions but can accept the outcome.
“I would’ve been open to a smaller prom, but it’s understandable due to the costs of dances. I honestly thought they’d be more open to the idea due to COVID restrictions,” Ellison said.
As the school year comes to a close, an in-person graduation ceremony for the class of 2021 is still planned for May 21.
“I’m grateful that they (administrators) are giving people the opportunity to attend graduation. It means a lot to people and I understand that it’s hard to really determine anything with COVID and all, but they’re trying and I appreciate that,” Jones said.