"The Prom: Basic Facts and Other Musings" by Provost Bill Bussey
Ahhhhhh. It’s that time of year again. And it comes much earlier this time around.
The Prom: April 9th
If your child is attending the prom, I would urge you to read, re-read Mr. Henderson’s letter regarding this event. And then spend 20 minutes going over some of its key messages with your child. This is a terrific evening and we’d like your help to keep it that way.
The Real Date to Remember: While the prom is held on Saturday night, the most important date, the line-in–the sand date, is Monday, April 4th , 5 p.m. Why? That is the last day for Class I & II students to reserve a spot for the Prom Dinner with Ms. Overzet. That’s our deadline and it cannot be changed. Your child will receive a formal invitation and be reminded ad nauseum of this responsibility between now and then.
Awkward: If your child has asked or been asked by someone to go with them as a date: Make sure that it is crystal clear by the time they RSVP to Ms Overzet that there is an agreement as to whom is paying for what.
No Class IV Students Will Be Allowed to Attend the Prom. A handful of Class III students do get invited.
Class I and Class II will be dining together and with faculty at Maggiano’s in Boston at 7:15 p.m. I will be present at the Prom (my 26th Prom, one of those time-to-re-evaluate-your-life stats) with Class Deans (Battery Wharf Hotel, 9-Midnight). As always, we also have plain-clothed security covering the event and exits. In the last three decades of Nobles proms, we have experienced only one very minor misstep that occurred during the prom itself.
Pre-Prom Photo Opportunity
Class I students and their parents may shoot prom photos on campus at the Castle from 5:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Class II students and their parents may take prom photos from inside the Performing Arts Building or on the Beach, weather and lawn conditions permitting. Last year it was a bit crowded and parking was a bit difficult but people enjoyed it and all went smoothly. We have a parking plan that we will send out later.
Please don’t feel that this is something that you have to do. Here’s why: At the prom, Nobles grad, Randy Smith, who makes his living as a professional photographer in New York City, will be taking photos at the event. He has been our prom photographer for over a decade. He comes up from NYC in appreciation of his time at Nobles. He takes a zillion photos of every grouping imaginable for those who ask. In the past we have sent the entire batch to your children. They do not pass them on to you. This year we will send them to you via email as well.
Know that every year some students choose to attend with a group of friends rather than go with a date. We do everything on our end to encourage that approach. For a variety of reasons the prom generally means more to Class I students than to Class II students; more than a few Class II students sit this one out. And that’s okay, too. Since this is the first go-round for many Class II students, it’s little surprise that many juniors grow anxious as the event nears. We ask that all parents help us in keeping a realistic perspective regarding this evening.
For many students, navigating prom transportation, not just the mode but especially with whom, inevitably can grow unnecessarily complicated. Feelings get hurt. Cars and limousines only hold a finite number of people. Too often students leave the transportation details to the last minute. If there is one area you should keep your eye on, other than what happens after the prom, especially if you are a Class II parent, it is this one. Guide, suggest, and support. And then step back a bit and let your child work it out.
And to All a Goodnight
Our responsibility with regards to this evening ends at midnight or when your child leaves the Battery Wharf Hotel. The adults stay until midnight, but students generally leave much earlier to avoid higher limousine costs, adhere to license restrictions, and to get a jump as to where they are heading afterwards. When they depart, they are then your responsibility. Know where your child is going, know what they are doing, and have a clear plan as to when your child returns home and how.
Civil & Criminal Liability
It is our experience that there will in all likelihood be a few parents who will disregard our concerns and feelings about what happens under their roof following the prom. Asking parents not to break the law, especially on this night, seems like a reasonable request. The majority of after prom parties at the very best simply get weird and uncomfortable as the clock ticks--at their worst, humiliating, life-threatening and tragic. If your child is spending a few hours or entire evening night at someone’s house, I see no reason as to why you shouldn’t contact the host(s) directly.
Let me leave you with a recent quote from a mom and dad who thought they and a few other adults could serve alcohol to a small group of students (“Really nice kids who we knew for years”) without any incidents:
“We must have been out of our minds. What were we thinking?”
As always, thank you for your help and understanding.