Prom Dates Are Assigned by Lottery at This High School

Prom season is coming up, and kids across America are mustering up the courage to find dates for one of the biggest nights of their high school years. But one school is attempting to make the process a bit easier by taking away the control students typically have when choosing their dates, instead leaving it up to chance.

Would you go to a prom with a randomly assigned date? (Photo: Getty Images)
Would you go to a prom with a randomly assigned date? (Photo: Getty Images)

Aquin High School, in Freeport, Ill., has devised a system in which junior and senior boys are assigned dates at random by drawing cards with girls’ names on them. While the boys meet in the gym to draw the names, the girls sit and wait in the library until they are chosen.

“The real fun starts immediately after, when they put their creativity and choreography skills to the test and perform skits to ask their date to prom,” local station WREX says of the tradition.

Senior Korey Korosec added, “No matter who you get, you know you’re going to have a good time. It doesn’t leave anybody out. Everyone’s welcome to join, and no one’s not going to have a date.”

Junior class adviser Michelle Gallagher is also a supporter of the system. “I think most people are in disbelief, and a lot of people say they would hate it,” she told the station. “But I think after they kind of hear the rest of the story and hear what goes into it, I think a lot of people are actually intrigued by it.” She says that the tradition is supposed to promote camaraderie and unity among the students.

While this practice, dating back to 1926, sounds like a good way to equalize the playing field and get kids to interact with different people in their school, we can think of some potential drawbacks. What if a boy doesn’t want to go to the prom with a girl, for example? What if a girl gets matched with a boy she has a dubious past with? What if someone gets matched with a person who bullied him or her? What if someone would prefer to go to the prom alone?

Still, Barbara Greenberg, PhD, a clinical psychologist and author of Teenage as a Second Language: A Parent’s Guide to Becoming Bilingual, thinks the practice is great. “I have watched so many teens stress about the thought of whether or not they will get invited to the prom, and others have anxiety about asking someone to the prom,” she tells Yahoo Style. “This idea sounds like so much more fun and so much less anxiety-ridden! Also, more kids get the opportunity to go. Fantastic.”

What do you think? Is the luck-of-the-draw approach to prom dates a genius idea, or should kids be able to freely choose the person they take to the prom?

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