Friends ‘devastated’ after school prom ban

Frederick Gent School pupils Chloe Perry, Amy Hardy, Laura Kavaliunas, Courtney Godfrey and Molly Heenan.

Frederick Gent School pupils Chloe Perry, Amy Hardy, Laura Kavaliunas, Courtney Godfrey and Molly Heenan.

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Fifteen teenagers from a Derbyshire high school have been left devastated after being banned from attending their school’s prom.

The group - all final year students at Frederick Gent School in South Normanton - say they were banned after questioning why they were being punished for the actions of another group of students.

Frederick Gent School pupils, Molly Heenan, left, and Laura Kavaliunas, have been on the organising committee for the prom.

Frederick Gent School pupils, Molly Heenan, left, and Laura Kavaliunas, have been on the organising committee for the prom.

The teenagers’ parents have complained to the school, the local authority and Ofsted and now say they are looking into legal action to recover the money they have spent on dresses and suits.

The mum of one of the students, school support worker Debbie Kavaliunas, 49, said: “The general opinion of all the parents is that the punishment is too extreme and that it is wrong to not let them go to prom.

“We are all extremely angry and upset that something they have been looking forward to from the start of year 11 has been taken away from them.

“They believed they were not in the wrong whereas the students who caused all the bother are still going to prom and have not received any form of punishment.”

The students’ were banned from the prom after an incident in which they were asked by staff to leave a communal area of the school.

After arguing with the teachers over what they felt was ‘unfair’ treatment, the affected students were told they wouldn’t be able to attend the prom.

The banned pupils are adamant that they were doing nothing but “sitting and chatting”. They feel like they have been singled out by school staff when it was other students who caused the problem in the first place.

“Most of these pupils are usually well behaved and have excellent attendance records and have not been in trouble throughout their school years,” said mum-of-three Debbie.

“They are predicted good grades, have been working hard throughout year 11 and some of the students even serve on the prom committee and have had a lot of input into arranging the event.

“These students - especially the girls - are devastated that they cannot go and celebrate with their friends.”

Deborah said that many of the parents had “struggled” to find the £250-£400 which the event had cost them so far. She said this was “a lot to find” for working class parents.

She added that there had been several complaints made to the school about the punishment and the pupils involved have even written letters of apology and asked if they could be punished in another way.

A spokesperson for Frederick Gent School said: “The Year 11 prom is for students that have had good behaviour.”