Students at top Mississippi school kept from prom over missed classes

Desoto County, Ms.--A Desoto County principal may have found the cure for senioritis.

Lewisburg High School is known as the top high school in Mississippi.

The students say they make good grades, aren't bad kids and shouldn't miss prom because they missed a few classes. Some of them have already bought their dresses and saved money to get their ticket, and now they are being told they can't go to prom.

As prom season nears, some Lewisburg high students say they watched their dream of dancing the night away, quickly turn into a nightmare.

"I was really excited about this girl, and I finally worked up the nerve to ask her to prom. She said yes, and we are all excited. Then I went to get my ticket, and I was declined to prom," said Alton Carver.

Carver isn't alone.

It turns out after the school's original prom venue cancelled, the high school was forced to find a new place to hold the prom.

"The school picked a riverboat that only holds around 280 people, so they are giving first dibs to those who have good attendance versus people who don't," added Allie Harville.

These students say for all they care, the dance could have been held in the school gym if it meant everyone could come.

They feel tougher requirements were put in place because of the lack of space.

"If you have five or more absences you have to have the principals approval, and more than half of our grade has more than five absences," said Harville.

They are even more upset because they feel they've made the grades and did their part, only to told that missed classes means no prom.

"He told us in a meeting if you get a lot of absences you are not going to prom," recalls Harville.

The students say they thought it was just a scare tactic to get them to show up to classes, especially since they say the principal didn't give them a specific number until they were turned down while trying to buy a ticket.

"Prom is a traditional thing. People want to go to prom. That is an American thing. It's our last memory," added Harville.

WREG reached out to the school spokesperson who wouldn't say whether there was a set number from the start, only that students must meet set criteria to attend the prom.

"It shouldn't be a punishment," said Harville.

In an effort to include everyone who wants to attend prom, parents and students have organized their own prom to make sure everyone has a shot at making a lasting memory.

The students are using the LHS '18 Seniors page on Facebook to update students on the student led prom. They have also created an Instagram page using the name LHSprom2.

According to the district, school leaders can implement their own rules and events like prom are incentives.

Students were allowed five unexcused absences.