Free tickets with vaccination: Kansas high school faces prom controversy


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Prom is back at one Kansas high school. It will look a little different this year. Instead of being inside, the tennis center outside the school will serve as this year’s location.

“It’s going to be something different, after dancing for a while it’s going to be nice to be outside instead of being in a stuffy building,” said Ashley Cockram, a Campus High senior.

But when the school announced that free tickets would be given to students who get vaccinated, it caused some confusion and controversy.

Cassidy Smith, a Campus High junior, said she’s happy vaccines are available right now, and she plans on getting one soon, but she doesn’t understand why the school would implement this.

“I don’t think one should have anything to do with the other,” she explained. “Prom, vaccinations, I think it’s unfair to kids under the age of 18 that have to have parental consent whose parent may not be okay with the vaccination or comfortable with it yet.”

Cassidy Smith

Campus’ Principal David Morford said the district was not trying to politicize prom when they came up with the idea, they just wanted to incentivize students to get vaccinated.

“We don’t know if it’ll work. We don’t know if it’ll motivate kids or not motivate kids. I don’t think there’s going to be a big line to get vaccines just to get a prom ticket,” Morford said. “But it’s there as an option, weren’t trying to be political with it, we were just trying to help.”

Morford said the school does many things to help students with prom, and this reward for vaccinations is just another way to save money for those who want to go to Campus’ first prom in two years.

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