School Bans ‘Party’ Theme for Prom
It should not be surprising that at least one graduating class this year would want to invoke the Artist Formerly Known as Prince’s anthem “1999" for its prom theme.
“We play the song at every dance you ever go to,” 18-year-old senior Lee Chapman said.
But seniors at Simi Valley High School were told by school administrators this week that their selected theme, “Party Like It’s 1999,” was unacceptable.
Principal Dennis Rast said his administrative team decided Friday that the word “party” had too many connotations of drugs and alcohol, and that students would have to select another theme for the prom, which is to be held May 1 at Sony Studios in Culver City.
“Every kid that came in here honestly thinks ‘party’ is celebration. The students are saying we don’t want you to consider party as drinking and drugs,” Rast said. “This is an adult world too. You know that I know it has another meaning.”
Hoping to save its preferred theme, a group of students rallied the student body and solicited the support of parents to help persuade administrators to reverse their decision.
Senior Jessica Self, 17, said she thought that by gathering letters from parents and a petition with 114 signatures, and by contacting the local media, student leaders had shown how seriously they regard their theme.
“To the Class of ’99, this totally represents them. It really represents having a good time and being with your friends,” Jessica said. “We’re thought of as the last class of the millennium. I can’t name many songs that have our class year in them.”