High School senior Drew Howard has already been named prom king once this year, but he might get a second shot on Saturday.
Unhappy with the music and restrictions on dancing at their April 27 prom, Howard and seven other students are staging Prom 2.0 at the Brunswick City Park Building. About 150 students have already purchased tickets, Howard said.
“This is basically a rebel kind of dance,” Howard said.
Attendees will not sport prom dresses and tuxedos; the theme is “police-ish,” complete with caution tape draping the walls as students give themselves an opportunity to dance the way they like.
The Prom 2.0 organizers said they felt “oppressed” at Brunswick’s prom by the atmosphere, including the lighting on the dance floor and the music choice — which included too much country, organizers said — and the rules on dancing.
“They can play ‘Red Solo Cup’ about drinking, but we can’t dance,” senior Maya Gonzalez said.
Students at Brunswick’s prom were each given a wristband and if they were caught dancing inappropriately, the wristband was cut off. If they were seen dancing inappropriately a second time, they were escorted out of the FSK Holiday Inn, according to students.
Students estimated that eight to 10 of their schoolmates were kicked out of prom for their dancing.
Brunswick High Principal Jack Newkirk said that was incorrect.
A couple of students had their wristbands cut off, he said, but nobody was asked to leave the prom.
Frederick County Public Schools has guidelines for high school dances, which were last revised on March 20. According to the guidelines, “sexually suggestive or explicit dancing” includes suggestive squatting, bending, freaking, grinding, touching of the breasts, buttocks, or genitals or simulating sexual activity.
Newkirk said this was the first year Brunswick used wristbands to enforce the guidelines, and he has not heard any complaints from parents.
“It was just our way to try and implement the new guidelines,” he said.
An assembly was held the day of prom to discuss expectations and guidelines for the night, Newkirk said.
In 14 years working for Frederick County Public Schools, he said it was “one of the more positive proms” he has been to.
Prom 2.0 organizers are getting their parents’ help to rent the city park building for $125 because the city requires a renter be at least 21 years old.
Some proceeds from the event will go to cover the rent, and the rest will be given to the high school’s athletic, band and drama boosters, Howard said.
Tickets cost seniors and juniors $8, guests are $10 and sophomores are $15. Any freshman lucky enough to be dating an upperclassman will be allowed in for $20.
Organizers will sell tickets at the door, but will cap attendance at 220, he said.
The capacity of the City Park Building is listed as 300 on Brunswick’s website.
City Administrator Rick Weldon said the city feels comfortable renting to the students because of their parents’ support.
About eight parents are expected to chaperone the dance. Weldon and Brunswick Police Chief Milt Frech will also be present to direct traffic outside and help chaperone.
Weldon said he does not expect trouble from hosting a dance for more than 150 teenagers.
“These are really good kids,” he said. “The fact that they have as many parents signed up suggests parents have given a lot of thought to this as well.”
Senior Daniel Trettel said everyone attending must sign a waiver that says chaperones have a right to kick anyone out, and anyone who arrives intoxicated will not be allowed in.
Like Weldon, he is not expecting any trouble.
“I think we have the whole community behind us,” he said.