A California high school student, who is battling a brain tumor, was denied entry to his own prom because he missed class to recover from emergency surgery (video below).
Jared Springer, 18, is a senior at Arroyo Grande High School. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor a year and a half ago and now suffers from paralysis.
Jared fell out of his wheelchair in April and broke his hip. He was forced to undergo emergency surgery, and doctors said he needed six weeks out of school to recover.
The timing couldn’t have been worse for Jared, who was getting ready to attend his senior prom on May 7.
“It was black and I wore a pink tie,” Jared told KSBY, describing his tuxedo. “I just asked a girl the week before.”
Jared’s parents said they were told by school officials that because the teen missed class to recover from emergency surgery, he was not allowed to attend outside school events.
“School policy says that since Jared had to miss school and do school at home and not physically go he wouldn't be able to go to attend extracurricular functions or activities,” Lori Springer, Jared’s mother, said. “I was just hoping he could do something fun.”
“I really wanted to go because I couldn't go to the last one and I knew this was my last chance,” Jared added. “I couldn't go last year because I was in the hospital.”
In a statement released on May 9, school district officials stood by their decision. However, they told the news station they would be talking to Jared’s parents about allowing him to attend other upcoming senior functions.
The statement read:
In the Lucia Mar Unified School District, we believe that our work is about students and maximizing their academic and extracurricular opportunities. It saddens me to know that with improved communication one of our students may have been able to attend an event that is special for many high school seniors. We have reached out to the parents to meet and discuss this situation in person and are awaiting their availability.
At the same time, student safety is a top priority in our District. In order to protect all our students and staff, we have specific rules about who is allowed to participate in school-sponsored events. We acknowledge that there may be ways to work within guidelines to expand opportunities for our students.
In our decision making regarding eligibility to participate in extracurricular events Lucia Mar USD complies with all medical restrictions outlined by individual health care providers to ensure the health and safety of each child is taken into account. We make the best decisions we can, at the time, based on the information we receive from doctors.
While this prom is now in the past, many special senior activities remain ahead. It is our intent to improve our two-way communication with the family regarding these events. We will work with the student and parents to attempt to ensure participation, whenever possible, provided the necessary medical releases are in place. It is also our intent to work with the family, apologize, learn from any mistakes, and improve our training and processes for all of our students.
Jared’s parents are now planning to hold a special prom for their son in the next few weeks, KETY reported.