Let Tate ( And His Friends! ) Go to Prom
  • Petitioned Beth Smith

This petition was delivered to:

Headmaster
Beth Smith
Superintendant
Freeman Burr
BOE
Win Oppel
BOE
Arlene Liscinsky
BOE
John Francino-Quinn
BOE
Kate Kutash
BOE
Michael Pocowta
BOE
Kathy Yolish
BOE
Tim Walsh
BOE
Paula Ellis
BOE
Win Oppel
BOE
Tim Walsh
Alderman
Jack Finn
Housemaster
John Skerritt
Housemaster
David Presutto
Housemaster
Steven Swensen

Let Tate ( And His Friends! ) Go to Prom

    1. Petition by

      J :

      Shelton, CT

 

From the CTPost. 


Anne M. Amato, Staff Writer

SHELTON -- It began as a simple gesture. Shelton High School senior James Tate just wanted to make his good friend, Sonali Rodrigues, feel special.

So instead of the usual way of asking her to the senior prom, Tate and two friends went to the high school campus in the middle of the night and posted 12-inch tall, cardboard letters on the outside of the building -- at the main entrance.

The message that many saw when they arrived to school Friday, read: "Sonali Rodrigues, Will you go to the prom with me? Tate."

She said yes.

"It took a lot of effort," said Tate.

He posted the letters, one at a time, in a "safe and thoughtful way" to avoid trouble.

But, it appears, that didn't work out.

Because of what he did, Tate can't go to the prom.

Tuesday, after meeting with his headmaster, Tate and his two friends were each given one day, in-house suspensions and banned from the prom. Tate was told the administration felt what they did was a safety risk.

But, the teen said, he took every precaution when he posted the message early Friday morning, sometime between 1 and 3 a.m.

"I had one friend hold the ladder while the other put double-sided tape on the letters," he said. Tate said he also wore a helmet.

He was told another reason for the suspensions was that they had trespassed on school grounds.

"I didn't enter the school at all," he said. And while the front gates to the school were locked, Tate said he and his friends were able to get onto the grounds on a foot path.

Tate said that, according to school regulations, if you get suspended after April 1, you can't go to the prom.

"I tried to appeal -- tried to just get a detention instead," he said. "I even offered to do community service -- like cleaning up the litter outside the school."

But, he said, nothing worked.

"Now I have a date for the prom, but can't go," he said.

"This is ridiculous," said Rodrigues. "James is one of my best friends and we are both good kids who never got in trouble. I've never been to the principal's office except to get an award."

Rodrigues was also called to the headmaster's office Tuesday morning. "They just asked me some questions, like would I still go to the prom if James couldn't," she said.

She will go, with a girlfriend, whose boyfriend has also been suspended for an unrelated incident.

"This is really upsetting," she said. "It's our senior year and we are supposed to have happy memories, not something like this."

Shelton High School headmaster Beth Smith did not return calls for comment Tuesday. Superintendent Freeman Burr declined comment, referring all questions to Smith.

 

Sign this petition to let Tate and his friends attend prom today!

 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 2 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Rachel Boyle SEYMOUR, CT
      • over 3 years ago

      he did nothing wrong!! Let James Tate an his friends go to the prom!!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Becca Guide LEE, NH
      • over 3 years ago

      It's a sad day when a headmaster is so out of touch. Beth Smith the world is watching you and judging Americans by your heartless actions.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Patricia Echanique FULLERTON, CA
      • over 3 years ago

      As a former guidance counselor with an M.S. in education, I

      am appalled that a romantic gesture would be given consequences more appropriate to serious violations like

      fighting or possession of drugs. This "zero tolerance" mind-set has gone too far and has replaced logic and common sense. That anal-retentive administrator needs to admit that

      she was wrong, but is probably too much of a control freak to

      do so.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Shirley McCandless CONWAY, SC
      • over 3 years ago

      I think the Administration at this school are going overboard on this offense. How about using some common sense. This is sending a very negative message to the students.He didnt harm anyone and is a good student. Why do they want to ruin this amazing activity (Prom) for this couple? He apoligized for the incident, which was positive in message, to the school. Lighten up people!!!!!!!!!!!!!! James, you are a great person, dont let this get you down. Hopefully, from what I heard on the news, you will be going out with your date in style. I will be following this story to see how it goes!!!!!!!!!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Benjamin Conte MERIDEN, CT
      • over 3 years ago

      I am a Graduate of SHS 1994 and I am ashamed that this woman has control of the Youth of the Valley I grew up in. She is a Shameful example of what giving a little Power to someone who does not deserve it can do. Last i knew the state of Connecticut was still part of the United States of America and Freedom was one of our Founding principles. Wake up CT and see whats happening here and remove this woman from her position.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.