[Hpn] Smiles, frills rule evening at homeless school's prom; 2
Fri, 15 Jun 2001 18:15:22 +0000
>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
>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
>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,
>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
>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
>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
>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,
>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
>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
BTW, I too never went to my high school prom. I used to get treased in
school, not because I was homeless, but I guess because I was different. I
was very tall for my age and had to wear glasses. I didn't get to go to a
prom until I was in my last year of community college. I thought if I didn't
go then, I wouldn't get a second chance. I went with my husband and
throughly enjoyed it and so did my husband. I think everyone should go to a
prom at least once in theri lives.
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