HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Rising COVID-19 cases have prompted the Hays Consolidated Independent School District to cancel this year’s prom.
But, because sports have been allowed to continue, some parents are calling this decision a double standard.
“I think it’s the double standard [in regard] to the effort from the district,” Jennifer Taylor, a Hays High School parent said. “The district is willing to find a way to make the athletics happen, but we’re in January and we’re not even looking to see, okay maybe come March — where things are.”
Taylor’s son, Ellis, is a senior at Hays High School. He’s been able to play sports, but will miss out on prom for the second year in a row.
“I mean it sucks, but I feel like it’d be bigger if a sporting season got canceled, because maybe that’s some peoples’ way to get into college,” Ellis said.
Though he and his mom both understand the district’s call, they’re surprised by the decision.
“If you can find a venue, that maybe has outdoor [and or] indoor space, these kids wear they’re masks all the time, it’s not like they’re going to be inconvenienced,” Taylor said.
Hays CISD said it’s not that simple– saying social distancing would be harder. It also said sporting events have followed league safety protocols.
“When you’re all sitting at the same table, and you’re eating and dancing…the reality is, in making decisions about prom…we have to pre plan in advance,” Jeri Skrocki, Director of Safety and Security with Hays CISD, said.
According to Skrocki, deposits for venues are due early. She said logically, it wouldn’t make sense for the district to book a venue, as COVID-19 cases continue rising.
Now, a group of district parents are looking to organize an alternative, safe prom for students.
“I have no idea how much prom would be, but I think a lot of small business owners would step up,” Terry Lee said. “It would have to be something outdoors.”
Lee has gotten support from other parents on Facebook, interested in joining forces. This Tuesday, he said the group interested in helping out, plans on working out details.
“I would like to see the school make the effort first, before we organize something through the parents,” Taylor said.
Hays CISD said it would consider planning an alternative if COVID-19 numbers get better.
But for now, it says this was the best decision.