COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. — The 2019-2020 school year has had its fair share of disappointments with COVID-19 bringing it to an abrupt stop.
Several events were either moved to later in the summer or canceled altogether.
Such is the case for Colbert County Schools. Graduation is postponed until later in July and prom is no more.
Superintendent Gale Satchel said the decision was made because of the increase in COVID-19 cases. “The governor has continued—or extended the safer-at-home policy until the 31st and so we wanted to keep our kids as safe as possible.”
After the announcement that prom was canceled, there were also rumors going around that graduation would be canceled, however, Superintendent Satchel said that’s not true.
She added that she understands how this has frustrated some families. “I just want them to be safe—take care of themselves, take care of others, and know that others are around,” Satchel said. “I know this is another opportunity to be taken away from them for their senior year but just know that God has bigger plans. We are not going to stop at prom. We are going to continue to do awesome things, but just know that your safety is the most important thing that we can even center our attention around at this time.”
Parents of students at Colbert Heights High School have voiced their concerns about the decision to cancel prom.
Mike Morris is the father of a senior and wants the school board to reconsider. “They had plenty of opportunity once they lifted the restrictions to have a graduation and a prom,” Morris said. “A lot of the other high schools have already had theirs and this is something that every teenager in high school dreams of.”
Some families have already paid for prom dresses and tuxes and Morris said he feels the school system should be held responsible for some of the costs.
Morris said he and other Colbert Heights parents have been discussing the possibility of giving the seniors a prom at Spring Park in Tuscumbia—giving them an opportunity to make lasting memories during these uncertain times.