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Prom Season

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 9:00 am
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It’s prom season, but amidst all the excitement of buying dresses and renting limos, parents and schools have some real concerns to deal with. How short of a dress is too short? How can schools prevent kids from drinking? Are after proms a good solution? And how did the tradition even start? The word comes from "promenade," but the tradition has tied to debutante balls. All things prom.

For many students, prom night doesn’t end when prom does. After-prom parties, often put on by parents, offer a safe, casual way to extend the night. Sound of Ideas intern Melissa Prax has this story about a local after-prom with a larger than life theme.

Every year Solon High School’s Parent Teacher Association organizes an after prom, senior send off for hundreds of students.

“The kids all tell stories because when they walk in it’s just magical for them because the school is so different,” said Sheryl Sandridge, co-chair for after prom. This is Sandridge’s third year working on Solon’s after prom.

All the decorations are meant to disguise the school and shock students when they enter the building post prom.

“There’s so much really positive things happening in communities coming together and this showcases what Solon schools and the Solon community are all about,” said Leanne Jones, vice president of the Solon high school PTA and co-chair for after prom.

Involvement even comes from Grafton Correctional Facility inmates who painted detailed murals and special needs classes who helped with some of the decorations.

This year’s price tag is nearly $20,000 and that covers everything from prizes to games and food. All of the money was raised or donated by local businesses, parents and the PTA.

Involved parents typically stay up till 5 a.m. setting up the morning before prom, and start the day before at 10 a.m.

Students pay $12 ahead of time or $17 at the door for an after prom ticket with this year’s theme of Honey I shrunk the seniors. Attending students are breathalyzed before entry.


Felicity Paxton, Lecturer in the Annenberg School for Communications at the University of Pennsylvania

Thomas Szendrey, Principal at North Ridgeville High School

Shannon Lundeen, Director, Flora Stone Mather Center for Women, Assistant Professor of Bioethics

Rob Winton, Assistant Principal at Chagrin Falls High School

Ami DeWille, Corporate Trend and Senior Category Manager, Duck Tape

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