Desert Edge High School seniors upset about prom raffle. - New York News

Desert Edge High School seniors upset about prom raffle.

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Many seniors at Desert Edge High School in Goodyear are saying their prom this Saturday is shaping up to be a disaster. Tickets are sold out, and there is not enough space for all the seniors and their dates. The district says the student-picked venue, Dolce Salon and Spa, is at capacity.

After one student spoke out about the problem, she says she was suspended.

D'kiya Johnson imagined she would be walking down a grand staircase wearing her custom-made gown on prom night. Instead, her three day suspension effectively bans her from prom.

"I looked forward to this since I was a freshman, even since before then I had picked up my dress a long time ago," said Johnson.

The Desert Edge High School senior believes she's suspended because she spoke out to the media earlier this week when the school told her and dozens of other seniors that tickets to their prom were sold out.

"I think they suspended me because it was bringing negative press towards our school," said Johnson.

The district superintendent, Dr. Dennis Runyan, says federal law prohibits him from disclosing why any student is suspended, but he he says any suspension would have, "nothing whatsoever to do with media contact."

In a recorded phone message to Johnson's mother, the school says the suspension is for "three acts of defiance." The message says Johnson is suspended for leaving school property during school hours, not returning to class, and staying on school property after school hours. According to Johnson, all instances occurred the same day she spoke to the media.

Still, after the publicity the school added 20 more tickets in a lottery. Seventeen seniors got those tickets, including Corey Pollard. However, he still needed a ticket for his off-campus date.

"For the other seniors who tried to bring a date they still didn't sign up because they couldn't get a ticket for their date because there was only one ticket," said Pollard

Pollard's parents bought him an extra ticket for his date from another student selling one for a profit.

He now has two tickets to the prom- the theme, "A Midsummer Nights Dream."

For Johnson, it's more like a nightmare.

"I'm emotional...I was really looking forward to wearing this dress," she says.

Johnson's mother says she called the school several times to appeal, but was never given a call back.



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