Most 17-year-olds head into the final months of their senior year looking forward to two major events: the Senior Prom and Graduation. But if Tyler Frost attends a prom , he can kiss his graduation goodbye.
Frost attends the Heritage Christian School in Findlay, Ohio, a Baptist school with strict rules regarding dancing, rock music, alcohol, and sex. The school's handbook even claims that rock music is "is part of the counterculture which seeks to implant seeds of rebellion in young people's hearts and minds." Unfortunately for Frost, Kevin Bacon isn't going to shake up the town and change people's minds about dancing and such—the school has threatened to suspend him if he takes his girlfriend, who attends a public school, to her prom, and would deny him the right to attend graduation with his classmates. Should he be caught drinking or having sex, he'd be expelled.
Tyler followed the necessary procedure for obtaining permission to attend a secular prom, approaching the school's principal with the correct forms. The principal, who signed the form, then took Tyler's case to the school committee, who came down with the harsh consquences. "I didn't think it'd be anything this serious," Frost told local NBC affiliate WNWO, "after going to school there for 13 years I'd like to think they'd have a little more trust in me."
Tim England, the principal of the school, apparently has less trust in the secular school girls than in Frost himself, noting that "at a prom there will be many young ladies who will be dressed in the current styles which would be low cut dresses and things like that and there will be dancing. How does a young man protect his mind and not have wrong thoughts or lustful thoughts in a situation like that?"
One wonders how England expects Frost to handle his "lustful thoughts" once he leaves the confines of Heritage Christian and heads out into the real world, where—gasp—women wear low-cut shirts and show their legs, which is NOT an invitation for sex, but a personal style choice. England's mentality is the bullshit administrator equivalent of saying, "Well, she wore a skirt, she was asking to be raped on her way home from work." How does a young man protect his mind around young girls in low cut dresses? Perhaps by being taught the realities of sexuality, about respecting women, about not being ashamed of one's sexual feelings but recognizing that there are appropriate boundaries. "Protecting" kids from sex, rock and roll, and dancing is only going to make them view themselves as dirty or bad, and others who engage in such things as dirty or bad, instead of setting up healthy, natural views on sexuality that they can carry with them throughout their lives.
Frost believes he has the right to attend his girlfriend's prom, and plans on attending, regardless of the consequences. "Stand up for what you think is right and if you've committed yourself to go and you believe there's nothing really wrong with going then... go." You go, indeed, Tyler.