Students and parents at Towson High School were disappointed to learn recently that only about one third of the student body would be allowed to attend the Homecoming dance, which is being held this Saturday.
Last year more than 800 tickets were sold to the dance, but this year only 550 were available. Towson High has about 1,500 students.
“I think it’s very unfair,” said Leeannah McNew, senior class president. “This is a time to celebrate Towson High, and the dance promotes school spirit.”
The dance is held in the cafeteria, and McNew said it did get hot last year, but she thinks a cap of 700 would have made more sense.
The head of the PTSA, Cheri Pegues, said she asked the administration for details about the decision but none were provided.
“I am disappointed by the lack of communication because it has always been my understanding that the administration and PTSA are a team; we have a partnership. I do not wish for THS to be seen in a less than favorable light,” she said. “I believe this entire issue could have been avoided with clear communication and better planning. Even now, I have suggested that another dance be held for our freshmen, so many of whom were unable to purchase tickets to Homecoming.”
The school’s principal, Charlene DiMino, told the Flyer that this year, “we made a school-based decision to make a slight reduction to the number of ticket sales. We took into consideration space, safety, and the desire to provide an enjoyable event for our students.”
McNew’s mother, Jessica Gregg, said she thought the timing was especially unfortunate because it came on top of new teen curfews at Towson Town Center and the Cinemark theater in Towson.
“And now Towson High only wants one third of its students to attend the homecoming dance. Wow. How many messages can we send our teenagers that they aren’t wanted?” she said.
She added that the school did a good job of saying there would be a limited number of tickets, but not a good job of explaining why — although it was made clear a lack of chaperones was not the issue.
“So what is the problem? Drugs and alcohol at past dances? Inappropriate dancing? Gang activity? Inadequate funding?” Gregg said. “These are our kids. I wish they would trust us enough to tell us what the problem is, so that we could work with them to find a solution.”