10 schools in Duval County cancel prom, not because of COVID-19 concerns

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Between tuxedos and dresses, prom is one of the most special and important nights for high school students; but now, 10 Duval County public schools have canceled their prom, but not because of COVID-19.

Like many high schoolers, senior Janiyah Bracy dreamed of prom pictures and a night on the dance floor, but now, like many others, she can’t go. DCPS tells Action News Jax the cancellation of 10 DCPS senior proms was because of low interest and low ticket sales.

“The people who want to go, they should have the chance to go,” Englewood High School senior Janiyah Bracy said. “Now they probably might not have another prom.”

The following DCPS schools have canceled their proms:

  • Andrew Jackson
  • Asa Philip Randolph
  • Darnell-Cookman
  • Edward White
  • Englewood
  • Mandarin
  • Ribault
  • Samuel Wolfson
  • Stanton College Preparatory
  • Westside High School

DCPS said school principals and district administration collaborated on prom attendance guidelines, which include the following:

  • Seniors are first priority for participation; some schools may be able to extend invitations to younger students.
  • Prom must be at an outside venue; school athletic fields were one option under consideration.
  • Face coverings and temperature checks will be required.
  • Only students who attend the school will be allowed to attend prom.
  • Prom attendees will transition to virtual learning for 10 calendar days following the event.

At Mandarin High, only 44 tickets were bought out of 600 seniors. DCPS says if you already purchased tickets, you will be refunded, but Bracy is still left with a prom dress “Already bought my dress and it was coming in the next week or so, and now I’m not going to be able to wear it,” Bracy said.

For schools that are still holding prom, DCPS says those who go will have to do virtual learning for 10 days after.

Upset about the decision of her own school, Bracy is trying to remain optimistic.

“We can make more memories, it’s just I know for a lot of other people this might be one (of) their last memories,” she said. “It is our last memory of high school, you know? You want to make it big and we can’t do that anymore.”

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