[Hpn] Smiles, frills rule evening at homeless school's prom;Pappas School;Phoenix AZ

Morgan W. Brown morganbrown@hotmail.com
Fri, 15 Jun 2001 12:08:20 -0400

First of all Bonnie, I am currently living homeless and have for four years 
now this time around. So I am experiencing being homeless for myself as I 
have off and on for 28 years since I was 17 years old and was struggling to 
stay in school at the time.

That first experience with being homeless was somewhat brief, but because of 
problems were I ended up having to go back to where I was forced to live, I 
ended up dropping out of school - even though it was the last thing I wanted 
to do. There was nothing I could do about it at the time though, so I just 
did my best during tough times. I had to go to work in order to eat and 
survive and there was no way to keep attending the vocational school I went 
to at the time for the trade I wanted a career in.

Since I ended up having to drop out, I did not ever have the opportunity to 
attend what would have been my own prom. But I am not, nor was I then, angry 
about it either. I am not like that, but you would not know that or other 
things about me since you have not bothered to find them out from me in one 
way or another first. But my missing out on my own prom is not why I am 
passionate about this and other related work I do.

Just as an aside though: I did get to attend a prom later when I was working 
so a co-worker I was a non-romantic friend with could have a date to attend 
her prom with. I paid for everything including a nice rental car to drive 
her there in style. I got, nor sought, nothing out of the experience but the 
joy of attending a prom and helping a dear friend attend her prom in style. 
I enjoyed it immensely. So I know something about that experience personally 
and know and do respect how important it can be to someone as well.

If someone is being judgmental here, it is you. You have completely missed 
the point and have, incorrectly, assumed much.

What I believe is that all children should enjoy the right to quality equal 
educational opportunities in diverse classrooms and everything else that 
comes with it including proms with their peers and that they not be 
segregated because of social or economic status such as those due to 
circumstances like being unhoused or whatever.

While I had experiences which were not always good ones or ones I wanted to 
experience, the worse thing to have been done would have been to be 
segregated in a school because of my social or economic status or otherwise 
because I was or had been homeless.

I also know what it is like to be "being teased and stigmatized". In fact, I 
endured much worse for being different in one way or another. I will never 
accept that or any other excuse as being justifiable grounds for 

I am not begrudging or denying any child "a few small pleasures". Indeed, I 
am fighting so every child has the opportunity for those and more.

In my mind, the prom and the article about it was not more than a staged 
event and a tool to use these children to save a school were more harm is 
being done than good. In my opinion, the children attending such schools 
would do much better if they were supported to attend regular schools with 
their peers like every child should be able to regardless of whether they 
are housed or not or whatever.

I will not lighten up when it comes to the exploitation of and indifference 
towards anyone who is homeless -- especially children who deserve so much 
better than what you, and others who may be liked minded, appear to be 
willing to allow for them.

If you want to discuss and debate these matters in general with me in the 
open for others to read, fine, I have no problem with that. You have a right 
to your own opinion, as do I and others on this or other matters. However I 
do not appreciate the tone or content of your private message to me. I do 
not deserve to be addressed in this manner; your being or having been 
homeless does not give you special license to either. I feel put down by 
your message, which is loaded with your apparent "upper middle class" 
values, and it is not appreciated. Please consider this post as my protest.

Morgan W. Brown
Still Homeless, but never helpless nor hopeless, in Montpelier Vermont

On: Friday, June 15, 2001 at 14:29:29
In response to Morgan W. Brown's "[Hpn] Smiles, frills rule evening at 
homeless school's prom;Pappas School;Phoenix AZ" post
To: Morgan W. Brown <morganbrown@hotmail.com>
Bonnie Briggs <s248_1132@hotmail.com> wrote:

Hi Morgan,
  Don't you believe that these kids deserve the same thing as other kids? 
That night will prove to be the highlight of their lives, something they'll 
remember for the rest of their lives. Just because they're homeless doesn't 
mean they should be denied the simple things in life. Think back to your own 
prom, wasn't it the highlight of your life? If it had been denied to you, 
wouldn't you have felt cheated? These kids are cheated out of so much 
because of their homelessness, don't deny them the small pleasure of a prom. 
I'm glad someone thought enough of them to give them a prom. As for the 
segregated school, the school was created because the homeless kids were 
being teased and stigmatized. The school was an effort to avoid that. If you 
were homeless and your kid was being tormented at school because of it, 
wouldn't you want a special school for him where that didn't happen? Come on 
man, lighten up. Let these kids have a few small pleasures. Just remember, 
if you haven't been there already, you could be someday. Then, a little 
thing like a prom will seem important to you. We are all just one or two 
paycheques away from the street. I come from an upper middle class 
background. I never in my wildest dreams ever thought I would be homeless, 
but I was, in 1987 with my husband. So don't be judgmental until you've 
experienced the street yourself.

---End of message---

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