Exclusive: Archdiocese Ruling Prevents Student From Attending Her Jr. Prom Solo

By Todd Quinones

GLENOLDEN, Pa. (CBS) — For many students, prom is the most anticipated night of their high school career.

But the dream of partying with classmates is turning into a nightmare for a student who wants to go to the prom solo.

The 17-year-old girl was all set to go to the prom, she was excited, but things took a turn for the worse this week when her date backed out. Then, the girl was shocked to learn that she is not allowed to go the prom by herself due to a rule by the Archdiocese.

“We started a Facebook page, only the girls were invited, no boys could see it. We made it so we didn’t buy the same dress,” said Amanda Dougherty.

When Dougherty bought her prom dress, that was it, she says she knew it was the one for her.

For her dad, he was thrilled getting ready to see his first daughter go to her junior prom.

“She’s been excited for a couple years,” said Jack Dougherty. “She went out around Christmas looking for her dress.”

But when Amanda’s date cancelled on her earlier this week, she slammed right into a wall. She says she was told by school officials at Archbishop John Carroll High School she could not go to the junior prom next Friday without a date.

“For them to say not that we’re not good enough to go unless we have a guy standing next to us, it’s just kind of sickening,” said Amanda.

“Amanda has been waiting for this for two years, to not be able to go, I feel horrible,” said her father.

Amanda already paid the $95 for the prom tickets, add that to the cost of the dress, the shoes, flowers and she says it’s close to $1,000.

For its part, the office of Catholic Education would not comment on any specific student, but released a statement which reads in part:

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.

The girl from Glenolden says she is willing to fight to change the policy for all students and her efforts to do so are making her dad proud.

“She’s standing up for what she believes is right.”

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