Grandma gets to go to prom after all.
Bryce Maine, an 18-year-old senior at Eufaula High School in Alabama, came up with a sweet little plan to take his 69-year-old grandma to prom because she didn’t get to go to her own.
“Every woman deserves to go to prom, no matter how old you are,” he told CNN.
He even made a sign for the promposal. It said, simply: Prom?
“Nanny” said yes. She bought a glittery gown.
Then the school said she couldn’t go. The story went public when Maine’s cousin posted about it on Facebook.
“Eufaula High School let my Grandma go to Prom!” the cousin pleaded.
A hashtag sprang up: #LetNannyGoToProm. The story went national.
The bad publicity that rained down on the school brought a public statement. According to WTVM in Columbus, Ga., it read: “The Eufaula High School Student Handbook states on page 44: ‘The Junior-Senior Prom is a cherished event held in the spring of each year. Attendees must be under the age of twenty and/or should be enrolled at EHS.”
The statement quoted the school’s principal, Steve Hawkins, who said, “Safety of students and staff is the first and most important of the many tasks of a school administrator. For the 10 years I have been high school principal, we have denied requests each year from students asking to bring older dates to prom. We do not chance leaving any stone unturned when it comes to safety. Most high schools have an age limit for prom attendees.”
Maine’s supporters pointed out other instances of granny at the prom. On April 1, Connor Campbell, a junior at Pinewood Prep in Summerville, S.C., took his 93-year-old grandma to his prom, according to ABC News.
“It was wonderful. It was really great,” grandma Betty Jane Keene told ABC. “He had told all his friends. Every boy and girl. It was about 100 children at that dance, and it was so lovely and they all came up and shook my hand and then I got Connor to dance with me. He’s not a dancer, but I am.”
As much fun as Keene had, though, she said she won’t go to senior prom next year because she wants her grandson “to find a girlfriend.”
In the end Maine, his grandma and father accepted the school’s decision.
“Rules are rules,” Maine told the Today show. “I just have a hard time understanding why they couldn’t make an exception for my grandmother.”
Grandma-gate, however, has a happy ending.
Last week Eufaula City Schools announced that it will host a different kind of “senior prom” because of what happened to Catherine Maine.
The district is partnering with the local senior center to host a senior dance on April 25. There will be a photographer, a D.J., and a prom king and queen.
“We thank Bryce Maine and his grandmother for reminding us of the importance of extended family and being the catalyst for this joint venture with the Senior Center,” Eufaula Schools Superintendent Elisabeth Davis told WSFA in Montgomery, Ala.