Prom — a classic rite of passage for the American teenager — is causing more than the usual flurry of angst for some Burroughs High School seniors after the limited supply of tickets was exhausted late last week.
Antonio Alvarez said his daughter, a Burroughs senior, had been looking forward to prom for months. She took on the responsibility of saving up for the evening and was brought to tears when she learned the tickets had been sold out.
“The bottom line is, she wants to go to her prom, which for young ladies especially is something very [significant],” Alvarez said.
The Burroughs prom will be May 7 at the Ebell of Los Angeles in the Wilshire corridor, said Principal Emilio Urioste.
“All prom events have a maximum number of students who can attend,” Urioste said. “Proms at John Burroughs have been well attended over the last 10 years.”
The number of tickets made available is determined in consultation with an independent security company the school hires to manage the event, Urioste said. This year, 800 tickets were released to the 609-member senior class. Only seniors are permitted to buy tickets, but they can invite guests who are neither seniors nor Burroughs students, Urioste said.
The tickets went on sale online April 1, the principal said. They were also made available at the student store starting on April 14.
Urioste said he has had students approach him lamenting that they didn’t get a ticket, but said seniors were told repeatedly to buy early.
“At senior activities day … I went into a whole long-winded monologue about prom and the ‘shoulda, coulda, wouldas,’” Urioste said. “A student can’t claim they didn’t know.”
Tickets for the Burbank High School prom, which will be May 14 at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, are still available, said Burbank High Principal Bruce Osgood. Burbank High expects to accommodate all those who wish to attend, he added.
This year, the Burroughs senior class conducted several fundraisers that substantially reduced the cost of the tickets, students said. Last year, individual tickets ran about $85. This year, the tickets were $50.
Students who successfully secured tickets expressed little sympathy for those who didn’t.
“It’s stupid because they had plenty of time to get their tickets, so I don’t know why they are complaining,” said senior Hattie Linares, 18, who invited a junior as her date to the dance.
“They had two different ways to do it, too,” added senior Brainda Gutierrez, 18, who plans to attend without a date. “They could have gone down to the student store, or they could have done it online.”