If there wasn't enough pressure already to score the perfect date for prom, one Catholic high school in Pennsylvania took it a step further with a rule forbidding students from going to the dance solo.
Seventeen-year-old Amanda Dougherty was gearing up for the junior prom of her dreams, with her dress, shoes, accessories and date all ready for the big night. But when her date backed out at the last minute, her plans for the entire evening were thrown to the wind. Not only was she left dateless, but Amanda found out that she wasn't permitted to attend stag. School administrators at Archbishop John Carroll High School alerted her that a rule by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia banned students from attending the dance without a date.
Amanda expressed her frustration to CBS Philadelphia: "For them to say we're not good enough to go without a guy next to us, that's kind of sickening."
She had already bought her $95 ticket and spent an estimated $1,000 on her dress and accoutrements -- roughly the amount a Visa Survey projects that the average American family will devote to prom this year.
A statement from the office of Catholic Education addressed the rule with little explanation as to its rationale:
The prom is an exciting event for students in all of our Archdiocesan high schools. We do have policies in place to regulate both the junior and senior prom. Unfortunately, not all students are able to attend. We can’t address specific issues with specific students but there are various reasons that a student would not be able to attend. Not having a date is one example. Our high schools offer numerous dances and events throughout the year where dates are not required, but we view the prom as a special social event where a date is required to attend.
But despite the Archdiocese's mandate, Amanda is planning to fight for her right to attend the most exciting event of her high school career.
Amanda isn't the only student who has decided to take a less conventional approach to prom this year. An alternative Mormon prom was held in Southern California for students who wanted to have a more affordable and wholesome dating experience. And in the fashion department, high school senior Maura Pozek from Missouri decided to forgo the usual costly formalwear and red-carpet trends -- instead, she constructed her own prom dress out of cardboard.