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Cambridge HS says student can't attend prom

April 20, 2019 01:38 PM

CAMBRIDGE - A 16-year-old girl from Cambridge is being told she can't go to prom with her boyfriend.

Jaclyn Ciampi transferred to Cambridge High School as a part time student a few weeks ago. She takes several classes and studies with a tutor four times a week. She said her guidance counselor told she could go to all school functions and dances.

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So she bought a gown and her boyfriend Jake Palmer got a tux.

But when Jake, a senior at Cambridge, went to buy tickets he was told Jaclyn couldn't come.

"First they said it was her grades then they said it was because she wasn't a full-time student which made no sense,” Jake said.

Jake said graduates, students from other districts or people who are home schooled are able to attend, so he doesn’t understand why Jacklyn can’t.

Jake and Jaclyn tried to get in touch with the principal to clear things up. Jaclyn got a call from the principal, who said she was sorry, but there was nothing she could do.

That’s when Jake's mom Melanie decided to write an email to the principal and district superintendent asking them to make an exception. In the email, she explained Jake's father Mark was diagnosed with cancer in February.

"If he God forbid he doesn't make it you when Jake is old enough to get married at least you saw this,” Melanie said. “You know it's not just a dance to us at the moment it's a way for them kids to get away."

The superintendent replied to the email, saying in part:

"I understand there are certain factors which make this situation unique and are also factored into the decision.  Unfortunately, there are certain criteria that have to be followed."

Students do have to sign a prom contract when buying tickets. Jaclyn said she tried to ask her guidance counselor for a copy to see what criteria she needed to meet, but they couldn't get her one.

Melanie said Jake and Jaclyn are good kids and that they deserve to go to prom.

“It would be different if they were getting in trouble, getting written up things like that, but they should base things individually by circumstance, there shouldn't be just this blanket ruling of what goes on,” Melanie said.

Jaclyn and Jake are hoping the school might hear them out. Despite this whole debacle, they said they still want to attend the dance.

"I just want to be able to go to prom,” Jaclyn said.

"I would really like to go,” Jake said. “My family would really like to see me go, it would mean a lot."

NewsChannel 13 called the school for comment earlier this week, no one responded.

Jake's parents said if prom (5/4) comes and goes and they aren’t able to attend, they're going to try to find another occasion to have the kids get dressed up and go out.

Credits

Emily Burkhard

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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