The “Haunted Homecoming” dance at Braden River High School promised ghoulish fun, but for many students the night was cut short.
The mother of one student in particular, a 15-year-old home-schooled student named Adam, took to Facebook just two hours after the dance started Saturday, fuming about her disappointment with the school for turning away her son for not wearing a tie. Debbie Moyer Paul said her son has a condition, specified as Spina Bifida in a separate GoFundMe page, and as a result has breathing problems.
Adam wore a gray button-down shirt, black trousers and white tennis shoes with new laces, modified for his orthopedic braces.
The post has taken off, spreading by more than 1,340 shares and more than 450 comments by Monday afternoon.
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“He has missed out on SO much in the last few years,” Moyer Paul wrote about Adam. “He was actually excited.”
According to the homecoming dress code, girls and boys each had eight strict specifications, including dress shoes and wearing a tie, and pre-approved outfits had to be brought to the school administration. Anyone who didn’t follow the code of conduct or dress code would be turned away.
Moyer Paul said her son’s shoes were pre-approved.
Many other students, she wrote, were turned away at the door because they did not meet every specification of the dress code.
Some who commented on the post said they are former Braden River students, and they aren’t surprised.
“Apparently they haven’t changed a bit,” Melissa Toleli wrote in a comment on the post, who said she graduated from Braden River in 2010.
In a statement Monday afternoon, Braden River’s principal Jennifer Gilray said that out of the thousand students at the dance, only 50 were initially denied entry because of ID or dress code issues, and ultimately fewer than five didn’t make the necessary adjustments and weren’t allowed into the dance.
“We hope that this will be a valuable learning experience in communications for our school as well as our parents and students as we move forward,” Gilray said.