For months leading up to their prom, students at West Allis Central High School in Wisconsin say they were warned about the dangers of underage drinking.
But parents of students in the Milwaukee suburb want to know why their kids were given champagne flutes as a parting gift when they left the prom on May 9.
In a videotaped interview with WITI News (shown below), Johanna Rivera said she was pleased, in the days leading up to the prom, that her daughter’s school was promoting responsible behavior. But Saturday night’s gift left her wondering what school officials were thinking.
“She tells me, ‘Oh Mom, guess what I got for a favor at my junior prom?’ And I looked at it and I was quite surprised because it was completely inappropriate,” Rivera said.
Her daughter, Kassandra Cavero-Rivera, said her fellow students seemed to pick up on the mixed message.
“As we were walking out, the whole way leaving prom, you could just hear everybody making jokes about how they’re promoting underage drinking. It was weird,” she said.
The West Allis-West Milwaukee School District interim superintendent reportedly declined to answer questions about the gifts. Instead the district released a written statement.
“The West Allis-West Milwaukee School District Office has learned that on Saturday, May 9th, 2015 that the students at Central High School who attended their school’s prom received a party favor (gift) at the conclusion of their prom in the form of what appears to be a glass champagne glass,” the statement reads. “Neither the WAWM Schools nor Central High School staffs condone the use of alcoholic beverages or material that portrays these types of material.”
District spokesman Brian Vissers spoke to HLN and said the glasses were supposed to come with candles inside, but the candles didn’t arrive in time to be included. That would have made the glasses candle holders, he explained. The principal of the school wasn’t aware of the nature of the party favors, Vissers said.
Rivera told WITI that somebody at the school should have been responsible for approving the gifts, especially once it became obvious the candles wouldn’t be included.
“Wouldn’t you at least stop at that point and say ‘wait a second, I did not approve these gifts,. Why are you giving these?’ Something,” she said.
The school’s statement indicated that “advisors will be required to pre-approve any further favors (gifts) to their building administrators prior to ordering and/or distributing items like this in the future for any events.”
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