I first posted this story when I read it in Newsday and The Curt Jester, Open Book and Relapsed Catholic picked up on it and gave it a boost. The story deserves wide circulation. Ray Keating from Newsday writes about it here. I saw mostly positive reactions to this decision in print, and in the blogosphere, including from a couple of high school students, one a Kellenberg student. I think if the school can host a prom alternative it would be best, but overall you have to love the leadership for their, well, leadership. The prom culture is sick and as Amy Welborn pointed out, the jock culture should be examined next. The letter the school posts on their website is in PDF form and since it is a must read, here it is in regular old, html form. Note, the school already addressed the jock culture as it no longer sponsored a hockey team either. Some good excerpts:
- "Long Island, known in some circles as Wrong Island, is an alcohol culture. It starts
early and never ends. Because of our affluence and arrogance everything has to be
exaggerated bigger, better, more, over the top. Our students do not learn how to drink
socially. Their goal is to get roaring drunk as quickly as possible and boast about it the
next day. The incidence of binge drinking is rising on college campuses. Long Island has
more than its share of what is an American flaw we eschew moderation. Here is the
irony: we decided some years ago that a youth reached “majority” at eighteen years of
age for everything (marriage, contracts, etc.) except for drinking! He and she can get
married, buy a home, have a child, but legally cannot have a drink at their own wedding.
Europe does not have that adolescent problem of drinking. Why can’t we be moderate?"
- "Vanity of vanities and all is vanity, say the Scriptures."
- "Wealth is a wonderful thing. It is a sharing in the fmits of God’s creation. Becoming
a millionaire can be a spiritually enriching experience, provided you answer two
questions correctly: how did you get it, and what are you doing with it."
- "Our Lordship over all creation is not without moral consequences. As with time, so with wealth we will be called to account for how we have used them. The current culture of the prom on Long Island does not represent to us a proper Christian use of wealth."
It is good to see a school taking a stand against the prom culture, drinking culture, jock culture, vanity culture that are all out of control, and not just here on Long Island. There is a good news story from a local ABC affiliate that is available on video here. Click Eyewitness News Video under the sidebar. The entire text of the letter is also available on the sidebar also.