An Arizona mom has blasted her children’s high school for canceling their senior prom while going ahead with a retirement party for its superintendent.
Jennifer Alvey said the decision by Chandler Unified School District to prioritize a reception for the outgoing superintendent Camille Casteel over her kids’ prom was a blatant double standard.
‘Parents felt like the district just took a page out of the Marie Antoinette playbook there and said, Let the seniors eat cake,’ Jennifer Alvey told Fox & Friends on Sunday.
Alvey, whose five children all attend the school district, said the school was also only allowing students to invite two guests to their graduation, depriving their immediate family of witnessing ‘one of the big events of their life’.
‘We would want to celebrate our retiring superintendent, but we also as parents don’t understand the double standard, why the district has certain things that are OK for the adults in the district and then the kids’ interest in the district are getting entirely overlooked for the seniors,’ Alvey told Fox & Friends.
Graduation ceremonies were due to begin from May 1, and proms from June 1, but many states are imposing bans or strict social distancing limits on events this year.
Jennifer Alvey, who has five children, told Fox & Friends it was a double standard for Chandler Unified School District to hold a party for the retiring superintendent while canceling prom
An invite for guests to attend a retirement party for Camille Casteel, which has drawn a furious response from parents, who said students had been deprived of ‘once in a lifetime’ celebrations
Chandler High School, 25 miles southeast of Phoenix, Arizona, canceled its senior prom and limiting students to only two guests at graduation – but said the retirement celebration could go ahead
‘Parents felt like the district just took a page out of the Marie Antoinette playbook there and said, ‘Let the seniors eat cake,’ Jennifer Alvey told Fox & Friends on Sunday
An invitation posted to the school’s Facebook page for the April 29 retirement party drew a backlash from commenters.
Community members quizzed why this event could go ahead, when so many other school milestones had been canceled.
‘Dr Casteel should not accept this ‘celebration’. If seniors have to miss out on a once in a lifetime occasion, so should she,’ one wrote.
‘Hope it’s a total bust. The Prom could be held outdoors if that’s the problem. Skip the Super’s stupid party, let the kids have their end of year Prom,’ another commenter said.
The Daily Wire reported that an initial RSVP for the retirement party said each invited guest could bring 10 more guests.
A spokesman told The Daily Wire that was an ‘error’ and only four additional guests would be permitted.
The school said attendees would be shuttled from the Chandler High School parking area to nearby Austin Field, and insisted masks would be required for the outdoor bash.
But Alvey questioned why it was acceptable to have a reception with ‘food, buses, transporting guests in, everyone in close quarters’.
The Covid-19 pandemic forced schools in Arizona to close for most of the past year, with schools beginning a gradual reopening in March.
Tensions between parents and teachers at the Chandler Unified School District, 25 miles southeast of Phoenix, have been rising over the prolonged lockdown.
Alvey, speaking with Fox & Friends, said parents had been confused about many decisions taken by the school in the past year.
‘None of it has been with reference to what is best for the kids, for their growth, for their development, for their emotional, physical well-being,’ she said.
‘We want to be a team with our school district. We want to be a team with the people who we trust, who watch out for our kids’ best interest,’ Alvey said on Sunday.
In New York state, proms have been banned for 2021 due to fears they could turn into super-spreader events.
In Connecticut, state educators say they will require proof of a negative COVID-19 test for unvaccinated students and limit guest lists to current students to have better control over testing and contact tracing.
Ohio will allow proms to go ahead, but with masks and social distancing.
Some states will allow proms to go ahead, but have banned food and drink in a bid to limit the potential for COVID infections