Political correctness (PC) is often dubbed an out-of-control societal phenomenon. Oversensitivity, which can come from fierce enforcement of this sentiment, sometimes leads to some bizarre decisions and situations. Some are claiming that this is exactly what's going on at a Connecticut high school following its decision to swap traditional festivities surrounding prom king and queen for a more PC method of selecting the winners.
According to frustrated students at Kaynor Tech High School in Waterbury, Connecticut, the principal went too far in making some key changes to the school's prom. Rather than allowing a student vote for winners, Principal Lisa Hylwa, citing fears that the king and queen might be bullied, came up with a different plan. Students who attended were encouraged to put their names in a box and the high school royals were then selected at random.
While some of the students believe that the change in policy is not fair and that it fails to honor tradition, Hylwa says that it's important to allow every student the opportunity to be prom king or queen, according to Fox News' Todd Starnes.
"This method gives everyone the same opportunity to be a member of the prom court and it supports the positive spirit of our school, period," Hylwa apparently wrote in an e-mail to Starnes. "There is no hidden agenda with this, no reason for ‘hurt feelings’ or adding another issue on to a teenager’s full plate that could ‘spark’ jealousy, ‘mean behavior’ or bullying."
Proponents of this mindset may sympathize with the principal's views, but others will certainly highlight that there are some potential problems with this thought process. Unfortunately, life does not generally offer the same fairness that Hylwa is seeking to instill. If students find themselves getting used to having opportunities to be so painlessly handled, they may be less prepared to deal with the harsh realities that sometimes emerge in the post-high school world.
The principal went on to claim that the traditional voting mechanisms that surround the selections of prom king and queens are "beyond obsolete." Hylwa also lamented the fact that the old way of doing things was based in cliques and that it "was a popularity contest with no criteria."
"The fact is, there are enough popularity contests in high school so why sponsor another one that may have negative consequences?," she continued. "Cliques are real bullies by the way."
Now, while the event's handling is certainly going to irritate its critics who believe that political correctness has truly run amok, Hylwa shared one of the reasons behind the regulatory change. A student had apparently complained on Facebook, citing fears that fellow classmates were going to pick her for prom queen in an effort to prank and poke fun at her. Rather than take a chance, the principal made the change.
While being careful is often a prudent way to handle these scenarios, it's certainly possible that the individuals whose names are randomly selected could also end up being the focus of jokes. However, Hylwa could argue in this case that submitting one's name is optional and that doing so opens one up to this scrutiny. Either way, some students simply don't understand the thought-process behind the prom change.
"I don’t feel like anyone in our class would ever do something like that or in the junior class, that’s just mean and we’re not mean,” student Jennifer Buonocore told WTNH-TV.
But the principal isn't backing down.
"I have no more time to waste on this ‘non story’," she wrote. "I have a serious job to do."
(H/T: Fox News)