Treasure Coast school districts decide to cancel prom, work to create alternative celebration for seniors

Martin County students present their own ideas for safe, fun celebration
Posted at 9:58 PM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 23:47:24-05

JENSEN BEACH, Fla. — Senior prom in Martin County may take on a whole new look in 2021.

"We've been proposing ideas that we think will get approved by the district," said Carly Hudgins, a senior at Jensen Beach High School.

The school district chose to cancel the traditional prom citing dancing as one reason that may help spread COVID-19.

Now students are planning alternative events that can be held and align with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

"We knew that we had to make it special," said Hudgins. "We know it's not going to look like it does in the movies, but we can get something."

Hudgins said at her school, she and other elected class officers are planning a formal outdoor dinner and gala with a red-carpet style award show for senior superlatives.

"We really let the kids take their ideas and make something memorable, and the feedback we've been getting from our seniors is that they're very excited about the celebrations, because it's unique to them," said Martin County School District spokeswoman Jennifer DeShazo.

At South Fork and Martin County High schools, seniors are choosing to celebrate with an outdoor movie night and dinner or food trucks.

"We're still in the preliminary planning stages," said DeShazo.

Prom celebrations in St. Lucie County are also being canceled.

"Nothing is going to compare to a prom," said Julianna Pereira, a Centennial High School senior.

School board officials are working on ways to replace the dance.

"The faster we can get this virus to settle down and everyone to follow the standards and protocols, then at least the next graduating class will have a prom," said Pereira.

In Indian River County, school officials said Thursday that students there will have a traditional prom but that the details are still being worked out.