Friday, November 24, 2017
Opinion

The prom play list for 2013

RECOMMENDED READING


One of the top prom songs for 2013, according to MTVstyle, is Sky Ferreira's Everything is Embarrassing. It certainly reflects the behavior leading up to the River Ridge High School dance last week when a tardy student, obliging teacher, rigid principal and strong-willed parent combined for a brouhaha that left a teary-eyed teenager escorted from the event.

There is plenty of blame to go around and valuable life lessons for all.

A junior who could not attend the prom now knows that deadlines matter. She was left on the outside looking in because she failed to purchase her $75-per-person ticket before sales ended May 10. It led a deputy to bar her from the May 17 prom at Lowry Park Zoo because only ticketed guests were allowed inside.

But she isn't the only one who could benefit from this teachable moment. Principal Maria Swanson could learn a thing or two about compassion. She declined to let the student buy a post-deadline ticket, in part, because she was peeved that members of the senior class had been tardy in ordering their caps and gowns for commencement. Next time, she should target her punitive measure at the appropriate audience.

Teacher Tammy Casanova would do well to consider the implications of her behavior when she invited the teen to attend as a volunteer and then failed to notify the administration. It's not known whether Casanova genuinely wanted to help the student or simply sought to be obstinate. Either way, her decision set in motion the events that led the teenager to be humiliated at the prom when she was escorted off the premises by law enforcement.

Casanova, who is retiring, also is accused of allowing a pair of 20-year-old men — one of whom was suspected of being intoxicated — to attend the affair as helpers and to socialize with the high school students. That poor judgment brought a suspension and an ugly end to her career.

The actions of the girl's mother, Diana Byrnes, are troubling as well. Rather than emphasizing to her daughter, Caroline, the importance of purchasing a ticket in a timely manner, she badgered school officials for a week that her child was being treated unfairly. The lesson here shouldn't be about shifting blame toward others.

Maybe everyone involved should offer up an additional song to the prom play list. Here's a suggestion to add a tune from the Christian punk band, MxPx:

Responsibility.

C.T. Bowen is Pasco/Hernando editor of editorials.

Comments

Editorial: St. Petersburg should revisit approach to historic preservation

St. Petersburg is headed down a slippery path in the name of historic preservation. After a group of 10 property owners in the Old Northeast neighborhood won approval earlier this year to become a one-block historic district, two more groups of neigh...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Editorial: Strengthening the ties that bind in Seminole Heights following 4 killings

During this weekend of giving thanks, let’s recognize the Seminole Heights community for remaining united and committed to their neighborhood as residents cope with the stress and fear following a series of murders. Their response as police continue ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Editorial: Congress should help Florida agriculture recover from Irma

Editorial: Congress should help Florida agriculture recover from Irma

Florida agriculture took a beating in September from Hurricane Irma, which caused hundreds of millions of dollars in losses across the citrus, sugar, cattle and dairy industries. Yet despite a personal plea from Gov. Rick Scott, the Trump administrat...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Editorial: Senate should not repeal health insurance mandate to pay for tax cuts

There are all sorts of problems with the massive tax cut legislation the Senate is expected to vote on this week. Wealthy individuals and corporations benefit more than the poor and the middle class; by 2027, about half of all taxpayers would see a t...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Editorial: Ken Hagan should drop effort to recover attorney’s fees in ethics complaint

Editorial: Ken Hagan should drop effort to recover attorney’s fees in ethics complaint

Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan says he’s standing on principle in his effort to collect $7,800 spent defending him against ethics charges that eventually were dismissed.If so, it’s the wrong principle. But Hagan’s strident position rings ...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Another voice: Wall isn’t a lifesaver, it’s a boondoggle

The first stage of President Donald Trump’s controversial border wall project ended last week, while the prospects for any more construction — and even what type of wall — remain uncertain.A Border Patrol agent was killed and his partner seriously wo...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/22/17

Another voice: Time for Republicans to denounce this tax nonsense

Mick Mulvaney, the phony deficit hawk President Donald Trump tapped to oversee the nation’s budget, all but admitted on Sunday that the GOP tax plan currently before the Senate is built on fiction. Senators from whom the public should expect more — s...
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/21/17
Editorial: Florida should restore online access to nursing home inspections

Editorial: Florida should restore online access to nursing home inspections

In a state with the nation’s highest portion of residents over 65 years old and more than 80,000 nursing home beds, public records about those facilities should be as accessible as possible. Yet once again, Florida is turning back the clock to the da...
Published: 11/20/17

Another voice: A time of reckoning on sexual misconduct

Stories about powerful men engaging in sexual misconduct are becoming so common that, as with mass shootings, the country is in danger of growing inured to them. But unlike the tragic news about that latest deranged, murderous gunman, the massive out...
Published: 11/20/17

Another voice: Trump does the right thing for elephants; he shouldn’t back down now

There is bad timing, and then there is this. Last week, an apparent military coup placed Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe in custody, ushering in a new period of political uncertainty. A few days later, the Trump administration announced that Zimba...
Published: 11/19/17
Updated: 11/22/17