FORT PIERCE, Fla. - Taylor Crum said her sweet 16 birthday party was almost as much fun as Lincoln Park Academy's homecoming dance.
"It's nice, I like it,” said Crum, of her celebration, in which many of her friends dressed in semi-formal attire. “I'm really glad a lot of people showed up."
But Thursday was not so "sweet" for the LPA sophomore, when she found out her school would not have its dance this year.
"They put posters all around the school, everybody was writing petitions, signing them,” she recalled. “We wanted it back so bad."
Audra Macon was one of the parents who originally spoke with NewsChannel 5 against the administration's decision to not hold the dance.
"Parents stepped up and said, hey, we're not going to stand for this,” said Macon. “Give our kids what they deserve."
Principal Alan Cox said the administration reinstated the dance based on solutions to his concerns.
“I had a number of students who came to me today with some alternatives to improve the situation,” Cox said. “They came up with solutions, so we reinstated the dance. ”
Lisa Craig, a parent, said she was surprised when she didn’t get a school robotic phone call about the dance in the first place. “
We never got a call saying it's possibly going to be canceled,” she said. “They call us for everything. We would have stepped up without having the media step in. All they had to do was ask."
Justin May, a senior at LPA, said he didn’t know how to respond to the dance being canceled.
“Just knowing there wasn't going to be a dance, instead they were going to have a dinner for it, really upset the study body,” May said. “It was just a disgrace to say you were from LPA for the time being."
Justin’s father, Bill May, said since the school doesn’t have a football team, it was especially important to not take away homecoming from the students, who he describes as “good kids. ”
“It's not right,” he said. “If the media didn't help us with this, it still would have been solved, I believe, but it would have taken longer. It should never have come to this."
When LPA alumnus Asner Micah heard that the homecoming had been canceled, he immediately began planning an alternate homecoming dance, one that was not school-sanctioned.
“Homecoming was one of the best times of my life at Lincoln Park Academy,” said Micah. “We all looked forward to it, and it was better than prom. When I heard that the students weren’t getting it this year, I felt compelled to donate my time for them, and throw them an event for the rest of their lives.”
Although the school’s official homecoming dance has been officially reinstated, Micah said he and his business partner Kevin Vanover are still planning to have their “alterna-homecoming” event at the Fenn Center in Fort Pierce on Black Friday, November 23 rd.
“You can hang out with your classmates, and that’s special. You get to dance, and have a good time,” he said. “We will have a Glow in the Dark party, kind of representing the students’ voices, because they weren’t able to be heard at first. ”
Micah said if community sponsors are interested in helping him promote the alternative event, they can contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Crum, her 16th birthday party will be a good memory, but she said the homecoming dance will be even more special.
"We're glad we got it back," she said with a smile.
Homecoming will take place in December during basketball season, since Lincoln Park Academy does not have a football team.
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