According to a story from CTV News, Triss Hunter is a junior at Ecole Mission Senior Secondary School in the Fraser Valley. This year, she is not being permitted to attend the school’s prom, and the reason why may shock you.
No, Triss is not being held back from Prom for bad behavior or bad grades. The truth is, her school has an unwavering attendance policy and Triss has missed too many classes.
Triss does not skip school or try to ditch classes. On the contrary, she has a rare disease called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. This rare genetic disease affects the connective tissue that supports her skin, bones, and blood vessels. This condition causes chronic pain and dislocations for Triss that can happen at any time. Not only does she have therapy 3 times a week but the sudden onset of pain can lead her to the doctor’s office at random times throughout the week as well.
Triss does not believe the decision to keep her from Prom is fair and does not believe she should be punished for having a chronic illness. Triss says she’s passing all her classes and the only reason she is barred from Prom is because of her far-from-perfect attendance.
As this is Triss’ last year at the school, she applied to go to the prom and was surprised when she received a denial. She had her mother talk to the principal who held firm with the school’s attendance policy. She then took her case to the Mission school board who also held firm with the principal.
Triss wonders if she was supposed to miss her therapy sessions and doctors’ appointments just to be able to attend Prom.
The school says that many of Triss’ absences were unexcused because no one phoned in to tell the school she would be absent and the family often did not provide doctor’s notes.
Triss admits that sometimes she has to miss weeks of school at a time or “even a month.”
The principal states that all students and parents have been made aware of the criteria to attend prom and families have several weeks to call and explain attendance issues.
Who do you think is right in this situation?
Should the school allow Triss to attend the prom?