Campus HS offers free prom tickets to students who get vaccinated

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 10:47 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Campus High School in the Haysville school district has an offer to its students who are 16 and older. If they’ve received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, they can get a free ticket to prom. While students who aren’t vaccinated can still attend prom, the offer is not sitting well with some parents in the district.

The district said the idea for the incentive is a way to get school back to a closer normal, but some parents are objecting the approach, saying it’s unfair to students and isn’t an appropriate step for the school to take.

“Last year at this time, we knew we weren’t going to have a prom, everything was shut down,” said Campus High School Principal David Morford.

To have prom scheduled again is something Morford sees as a reason to commemorate. But prom will look different this year. Campus’ plan is to hold the event outside on the school’s tennis courts to help with social distancing.

“We’ve been out the most part of the year. Our goal this whole year was to return to normalcy as much as we possibly could,” Morford said.

With the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine available to people 16 and older, the district also came up with the idea to allow students who have received a COVID-19 vaccine to get a free prom ticket, a savings of about $20.

“We thought, ‘okay, we can try it,’ but again it’s not hard. We’re not going to stand there and check a vaccination card to allow a student to go into prom.”

The district said the goal is to get closer to herd immunity that will help protect students who can’t get the vaccine. It also makes way for that much desired normalcy.

“Heard there’s some parents’ angst of that fact that we’re promoting, supposedly promoting, a vaccine,” Morford said. “I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that statement.”

Eyewitness News spoke with some of the parents upset by the offer. While no one wanted to speak on camera, they said it gives some students preferential treatment and the decision to get a vaccine should be between parents and their kids. They also said people in the high school age group aren’t as impacted by the virus.

But Morford said they’re aren’t going to treat students differently if they have or have not received a vaccine and Campus will work to ensure that all of its students who want to go to prom can go.

“People that donate money for tickets sometimes for kids that can’t afford prom. We don’t want anybody to be left out,” he said.

Morford said the school also operates a prom closet to provide formal wear to students who need it. Campus’ prom is set for May 9. In addition to following COVID-19 precautions, it will only open to current juniors and seniors at the school, along with the class of 2020.

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