Cumberland County teen is rejected from Prom

A Lemoyne teen is ready to dance at prom, but the West Shore School District says she’s not allowed to because she attends a cyber charter school.  Under State law, students enrolled in cyber charter schools are allowed to participate in extracurricular activities.  But the district says prom is a social event, and doesn’t fall under extracurriculars.

Eleanor Lohry, 18, is ready to wear her vibrant gown at Saturday’s Cedar Cliff High School Prom.  But the senior may never have the chance.

Eleanor questions, “Why am I different because I’m a cyber school student?”

Eleanor made her switch from Cedar Cliff to Connection Academy Cyber School in 2010.  She says went from straight F’s to A’s, B’s and C’s.  She also switched because she was suffering from sinus and breathing problems.

Eleanor says she was excited to celebrate her improvements at Senior Prom. “I’m sure they celebrate different ways for being a senior and getting to graduate and prom’s like my way to celebrate and say I accomplished something.”

So she went to the school with her dad, Tony, to pick up her tickets.  But they were told she couldn’t attend because she’s a cyber charter student.  District policy says a cyber charter student can’t attend social events, but may participate in extracurriculars.

Tony says, “This whole thing is about Eleanor going to a dance, prom, social event.  It’s a dance I can’t believe there’s not someone out there who can say let her go.”

When Eleanor looks in the mirror, she’s proud of the woman she’s become since enrolling in a cyber charter school.  But since she was told she couldn’t attend prom, her insecurities have returned.

Eleanor says, “Are you different, you’re not any different and it makes you upset and you’re confused on why…rejection sucks.”

The Lohry family says they are hoping for a phone call from the district saying she’s allowed to go.

35 comments

  • rebecca

    They should not hold it against her because she had too go too a ccharter school because of a physical condition..thats like saying that people with disabilities aren,t allowed going in certain places …they need too let her attend her prom…..to me it,s discrimination period…

  • anthony

    Please post all the phone numbers to the school and as many email address available. Please get the information so EVERYONE that reads this can flood them will as many calls and emails their system can handle. How unfair is this to break a young persons heart that has been looking forward to her Prom most of her life, Something that is a one time only event. Why must someone be so mean and crush this young ladies heart and wisdom. Especially over a few petty words in a very petty rule? I'm sure they receive "School taxes" from her family. I don't even have kids and I pay taxes. So I shouldn't have to pay school taxes right?

    • MyTakeOnIt

      I think you are proving that you should be allowed to go to Prom because you pay taxes, not that you shouldn't pay taxes because you don't have kids.

      • anthony

        I had to enter my comment very quickly and did not proof read. My point is she lives in the school district. She parents pay taxes to that school district. Just for that reason she should be allowed to attend the prom with her friends.
        What I am reading is she is allowed to participate in extracurricular activities but not social events. Point being the school is splitting hairs here. My point about taxes was just a useless point just as this school official. A useless point. It sounds more like they don't want cyber schools taking away funds.

  • Jay

    As silly as the rule might be, i's a rule, and it fall sunder the guidelines set in place. So no, this isn't "Bull crap.", and it isn't discrimination. I would agree that the rule should maybe be revisited.

  • nila

    She deserves to go to the prom, She accomplished a lot going to charter. health and grades. doesn't matter what school she goes to, she still the same person. If it were their kid they would b breaking that rule. { LET HER GO TO THE PROM } Wish u luck

  • Melinda

    Come on, West Shore School District. Let the girl go to the prom! She turned her whole life around by going to the cyber school. Reward her for it. She worked hard to get where she is. It's not like her being there will exceed the fire department code for number of people in the room. Do the right thing for a change.

  • Michael

    Just because a school has a policy, does not make in legal in the eyes of the court system. I believe that calling the prom a social event is true…. But that is sidestepping the real issue. Can a extracurricular activities also incombus and include social events? For the school to deprive her of the prom is nothing more then a hazing!

  • Matt

    Pointless, completely pointless. Common definition of Social Event: ( an event characteristic of persons forming groups ). Common definition of Extracurricular Activity: ( outside the regular curriculum or program of courses: Examples football, orchestra, baseball, band, dance, theater… ) Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't the above examples " Events characteristic of persons forming groups ". Hmm, sounds like another school district strong arming an individual only because they can with no logical explanation or reasoning. Typical of PA school administrations. Eleanor good luck but until the state starts protecting the rights of students and residents schools will continue to do whatever they want. Why? Cause they can and the state lets um. And again there is no logic to it. We hope you get your chance. Good Luck

  • MyTakeOnIt

    The school COULD provide public recognition of her achievement and upstanding in the community and INVITE her to the Prom circumventing the policy for an honorable reason yet not making a precedent that could open doors better left closed. No rules or policies would necessarily be violated for making an invitation.

    • Matt

      what is the point to this particular policy though. Rules and policies are meant to protect the liberties of all individuals and yet this policy seems to do none of that. I find it intriguing that the school allows athletes that attend cyber school to bolster the school reputation but whats the reasoning to this policy.

      • MyTakeOnIt

        The role of school is to educate. I think lack of money is possibly the driving force for the policy.

        • Matt

          Lack of money??? Are you serious? Unless its changed the school has very little expense for a prom. Its the student body who holds fund raisers, and bake sales for expenses of their own prom. This is usually why tickets cost students ( Not the School ) a hundred dollars or more to participate. Your argument is bogus, would you like a rebuttal?

          • MyTakeOnIt

            Well, excuuuse me. I have been out of school for a few decades now. Things are much tighter for the schools from what I read. I gave a possibility. Another possibility for the rule might be precedent for others who were expelled. The rule about social events is generalized and in this specific instance, an upstanding student who left for the reasons given in the story as well as how well she improved afterward gave more meaning to bending a rule that COULD have been imposed for other reasons we do not know about.

  • Ted

    Let her attend her prom would u want somebody to take ur kids last dance from them I thought u guys were grown ups and not kids snap out of ur snobbish ways and let her get her freak on snobs of the distict

  • peoplerstoopid2

    Fox43 engages in the same kind of fake journalism as their cable namesake.

    Once she un-enrolled from her public high school and enrolled herself in Cyber school, it is no longer "her prom." She has no more right to attend it that any other non-student who lives in that district.

    • Matt

      First of all do your homework in order to enroll in cyber school you need to be enrolled in a school district. So I'm sure she is still enrolled at West Shore, seeing as they allow cyber students to participate in extracurricular activities which tells me they support cyber school organizations. Secondly under your synopsis cyber students who are involved in extracurricular activities should be no exception then, according to you they are non-students. However the district has seen fit to overlook this as it benefits the school district. Simple put a fair and just system would allow all benefits to cyber students or none at all to all cyber students, not just what benefits the district. The district obviously failed this young lady and she took measures to help herself and now the district punishes her for it

  • rebecca

    even tho she enrolled in the charter school the school itself still has control over what she is taught….my daughter went too connections for a time and her school was still involved….how if she missed school the districts truancy officer had the right too come too my home ..so therefore she is still part of that school district…so why shouldn,t she have the right too go to prom…the policy is crap period….

    • anthony

      I di not know the young lady or her family. After reading this story I just thought if readers were to contact people with in the school district to show their support for her, they may change the superintendents decision not let her attend the prom with her friends.
      Thank you

  • C63

    This is just a way for the school to punish the child for bettering herself. They are upset because they have to pay the charter school so she can attend. So for punishment she can't attend prom. I had a similar situation when I was in high school. A good friend of mine was home schooled and wouldn't have been allowed to attend Prom. Granted she was only a junior when I was a senior but she was going to "graduate" through home schooling. So I decided to take her to Prom so she could get her experience and say she got to go to Prom. I think if the school wont allow it one of her fellow seniors should buy the ticket that is going stag be it male or female. You know someone is thinking of not going because of no date. Here's their chance.

  • Jen A

    If her parents are paying taxes in that school district then there should be no question that she should be allowed to go.

  • moraima rivera

    Come on people, are we serious!! Let's focus on the effort that this student has made. She worked hard to earn this so therefore she should be able to attend a celebration on something that she accomplished..It sounds crazy but its a shame that our childten are being robbed from their accomplishments but then want to blame parents for childrens dislikes againts some of their peers!!..Makes us wonder, Hmm, Do these teachers and school staff really care about helping our children succeed in life?? This is a perfect example…

  • ray harris

    I'm sorry if she did not go to the school why should she go to the prom , but if she has a date then she should be aloud to go because her date went to that school and he can bring a date . so hon get a date and let them eat their hearts out . the things we fight over are the things that mean the less

    • Matt

      Okay, listen, she did go to school, she is still enrolled in the district, no matter how she is taught, no matter how she learns, she is still a member of this district and must abide by rules and policies and regulations set forth by the district even in cyber school. Getting someone else to take her is not the point. The point is equal treatment for all those under a ruling body.

    • MyTakeOnIt

      Yes, and thanks for reporting this. The feedback generated from the general public must have aided in Cedar Cliff changing perspective on the matter.,

  • Kim

    They are punishing her as a motivation for others not to go to charter school. The state doesn't give funds to the local schools for charter students.

    • AG6

      The local schools do get to keep a portion of the funds for charter school students. The charter schools only get a percentage of the funding, not 100%. It's a split with the school districts. The school districts are still getting to keep some of the money for kids that aren't in their buildings on a day to day basis. A lot of districts have also made activities such as band, chorus, and orchestra "co-curricular" so that charter school students cannot participate since charter school student participation is limited to "extra-curricular" activities only.

  • Dan

    I see no reason why the young lady can't go to the prom. My granddaughter has a health issues as well and attended the local school up until her sophomore year of school. Her parents pay school taxes so why should she or anyone be denied the right to go to a school social event. If they can participate in other school activities such as sports, which by the way benefits the school, then they should be allowed to go to their prom.

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