(WJHL) — High school proms around the Tri-Cities are set to make a return this year after most were canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
David Crockett High School will hold a prom this year and attendees will be required to wear face masks.
Wednesday evening, senior students told News Channel 11 that they are just happy to get to go.
“A lot of us did want to go last year and would have got to go and I think it’s just really exciting that we do know that we’re going to have one and that we know for sure,” said student Madison Day. “It’s not just like a maybe, maybe not.”
Prom can be one of the most memorable experiences of high school, but due to the pandemic, this year is the last chance for those in the class of 2021.
“The last actual event we had was formal and that was before the whole COVID pandemic,” said David Crockett senior Kevin Watson. “So it’s been more than a year. It’s been a long time.”
In addition to requiring face masks, social distancing measures will be also be implemented at David Crockett’s prom at the Heritage in Jonesborough.
“To me [wearing masks] is not a big deal. Us having one and having to wear a mask versus us not having one at all I’d take what we’re getting,” Day said. “And I don’t think that being socially distanced will be that bad. I think it will still be really fun.”
Students who attended virtually will get to attend, according to an email from the senior coordinators, but there are questions about how it’s going to work.
“I’m really glad that we get the chance to go…I’m concerned that they’re going to have the full capacity or not at prom,” said Watson. “That’s a question that everyone probably has right now.”
At Virginia High School’s prom, only seniors will be allowed to attend the prom at 620 State in Tennessee in order to keep attendance down to maintain social distancing. However, those seniors can invite guests from other schools.
“They didn’t get to do it as juniors last year and if we don’t have something for them this year then they won’t have had an opportunity at all,” said VHS Principal Ronnie Collins. “Our junior class will have an opportunity next year to have a junior-senior prom.”
Of course, COVID-19 protocols will be implemented.
“I don’t know that I’ll spend all night walking around counting six feet in between those that are dancing but usually at the prom they end up dancing with everybody and anybody,” said Collins. “We will follow the mitigations as they are written for us here at school.”
Because of those protocols, Collins says he isn’t concerned that the event could become a super spreader.
“We’re allowed to have wrestling matches. We’re allowed to have basketball games. We’ve got kids on the court playing volleyball. We’re in the middle of our football season,” Collins said. “If we follow all of the mitigations that we have in place for those I really don’t see this being a danger to the students.”
Parents at both David Crockett and Virginia High are planning alternatives proms for those who can’t or don’t want to attend the school-sanctioned one with COVID-19 measures. The details are still being worked out.
Daniel Boone High School will also hold prom in May. All four high schools in Sullivan Co. will have prom in April and May.
Dobyns Bennett and Science Hill are both planning on having proms but details have yet to be finalized.
Tennessee High will have prom on May 1, the district anticipates having more information next week.