LESLEY KEATING: A decision on prom should not have been left so late

Proms are a big deal for teenage girls
Proms are a big deal for teenage girls
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It’s prom time again and Year 11 girls are looking forward to dressing up in glitzy prom dresses and getting their hair and make-up done.

Except for my friend’s daughter. She has become one of just 15 youngsters at her school to be told she’s not qualified to go.

What on earth did she do to warrant the exclusion? Hold a teacher at knifepoint, wilfully damage school property or endanger the safety of other pupils?

No. She simply hadn’t amassed the correct number of ‘points’.

Her crimes?

Not complying with uniform standards, texting on her phone once in class and being late a few times. She is now absolutely distraught.

I understand that this sort of system is not new and many schools have similar ones in place.

I can also see that the school has a right to make its own rules.

But exclusion from a prom is a big deal for any child.

And it’s a really big deal for a 16-year-old girl.

Especially when they’ve already been punished for breaking those rules!

Furthermore, with all the costs parents have to stump up for months in advance – of which the headteacher cannot be unaware, unless he’s been living under a rock somewhere – surely the final decision shouldn’t have been left so late?

A boy a few years ago at the same school rocked up to his GCSE maths exam clutching what was left of a bottle of red wine he’d partaken of on the way to school.

After this was wrestled from him by a teacher, he sat down to the exam and promptly vomited all over the table.

But he still went to prom. Lucky for him, they didn’t have a points system then.

So now my friend is several hundred pounds out of pocket and has a daughter who isn’t the slightest bit interested in her doing her final exams.

And she’s too ashamed to tell her friends, so she’s keeping up the pretence, still discussing hair, nails and make-up with them.

Sorry, the idea may be right but its deliverance and timing is all wrong.


Why do people pay good money to attend music gigs and then spend the whole time chatting loudly in the auditorium when artists are performing?

There are usually bars and other areas for this.

We were at a gig the other night and a handful of very loud customers were being really discourteous.

It takes a lot for artists to prepare for gigs, and courage to perform to a room full of strangers.

If you’ve paid to go to a gig, am I naïve in assuming you actually want to listen to the music?

If not, then why don’t you just go into another area to enjoy the sound of your own voice?

Or, preferably, just keep your mouth shut!

Is that really too much to ask?


I was in London the other day and offered to bring back husband Mike his favourite salt beef sandwich from the famous Brass Rail bar at Selfridges.

Little did I consider the impact of actually bringing his ‘posh kebab’ back on a crowded rush-hour train!

To say they are horrendously smelly (particularly at close quarters on a hot, packed British Rail carriage) is an understatement.

The whole journey was spent getting suspicious, sideways glances from passengers who must have wondered what the hell was wafting up from my yellow Selfridges paper carrier bag.

The taxi driver at the other end was clearly not a fan either, judging by his glances in the rear view mirror and constant sniffing.

Never again!