Shelton, Conn. Headmaster Reverses Prom Decision

(NECN: Tom Langford) - With her statement, Shelton, Connecticut High School headmaster Beth Smith made it official: James Tate can go to the prom. Tate had been suspended and banned from the prom for hanging this cardboard sign on the school, asking his date to go with him.

But many said, the punishment defied common sense -- not to mention romanticism. Tate's fate went viral on the Internet and an international outcry began.

Headmaster Smith said, the public pressure lead her to change her mind.

"Through the last week, the level of distraction created by the incident has effected the culture of Shelton High School. In an effort to maintain a focus on teaching and learning, I've decided to implement alternate consequences."

The headmaster's reversal is being applauded by Shelton's mayor, Mark Lauretti, who said, "I think that Doctor Smith clearly saw the big picture here today and there's going to be change to help give a better end product."

The school superintendent, Freeman Burr, said the experience is something everyone -- students and staff -- can learn from.

"We had no idea that it would take on the context that it did, basically an international context. So there's lessons for all of us to learn."

James Tate told a Connecticut newspaper that he is glad to be going to the prom. On Facebook, thousands of people have weighed in with their congratulations.

And -- now that Tate is going to the prom -- a new online campaign has begun. This one aims to get James Tate elected prom king.

For more from Tom Langford, follow him on Twitter.

Contact Us