Adult students banned from high school proms for questionable senses of humour

Marc Weisblott
Daily BrewJune 3, 2011

School administrators have seemingly found the quickest way to get students in line with their thinking.

Based on two recent controversies in Ontario, all it takes is to prevent them from attending the prom. The fact a good portion of those about to graduate already turned 18 doesn't deter this from happening, either.

Grade 12 students in London who printed up T-shirts to celebrate their post-prom party were forced by the principal of John Paul II Catholic High School to either turn them in or be suspended from the official celebration.

"Drink Triple. See Double. Act Single," was deemed an inappropriate slogan for students who have basically begun their adulthood. More than 70 of them found it funny enough to pay $12 for such a shirt. And parents apparently laughed along with it, too.

But female students who already spent hundreds of dollars on their hair and wardrobes don't want to be turned away at the door. The possible few who don't give up their shirts will get a refund for the $60 prom ticket.

The fact the shirts promoted drinking, while most of the students are under the Ontario age of majority of 19, apparently left principle Ed DeDecker with no choice. Promoting promiscuity also goes against the teaching of the religious curriculum.

Statistically speaking, though, about half the students are old enough to vote. And most will presumably be left to their own devices at university three months from now.

The prom is likely off the social calendar for 18-year-old Jack Christie of Whitby, who made news this week after he was asked by the Durham District School Board to take his animated videos offline because they displayed a questionable sense of humour.

References to drug abuse, sexual assault and racist attitudes expressed by stick figures in the spirit of shows like "Family Guy" and "South Park," were cited as inappropriate for the students of Donald A. Wilson Secondary School, even though they were originally created for projects given good grades.

Christie was asked to stay home while the videos were being investigated. And the assumption is, for now, he won't be allowed at the year-end formal.

Given all the media attention, however, it's likely the cartoons will be a big topic of conversation during the night other students are expected to remember.

(CP Photo)