Teachers “Prompose” Students Lay Off on the Promposals

Junior+Kamal+Barnes+asks+Allison+Lee%2C+also+a+junior%2C+to+prom+with+a+poster+and+flowers.
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Teachers “Prompose” Students Lay Off on the Promposals

Junior Kamal Barnes asks Allison Lee, also a junior, to prom with a poster and flowers.

Junior Kamal Barnes asks Allison Lee, also a junior, to prom with a poster and flowers.

Marcus Franco

Junior Kamal Barnes asks Allison Lee, also a junior, to prom with a poster and flowers.

Marcus Franco

Marcus Franco

Junior Kamal Barnes asks Allison Lee, also a junior, to prom with a poster and flowers.

By Rachel Lichtenwalner, Cambridge High School

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Prom is right around the corner, and with prom comes promposals.

Nowadays, it seems like everyone gets asked to prom with a cheesy pun scribbled on a poster and maybe some flowers. It wasn’t always like this, though.

When did using your words become so lame? When did we start making extravagant gestures to ask somebody to prom?

The first time the word “promposal” was used, according to the Washington Post, was in 2001, when teens asked each other to the event over the loudspeaker. From there, promposals have only gotten more popular and more complex.

Now, there are social media accounts dedicated to posting cute promposals.

In 2017, MTV even aired a show called “Promposal” that followed a teen’s journey to pull off an elaborate scheme to ask their special someone to the dance.

Adults today have seen how asking someone to prom has changed, and they have mixed opinions about this recent fad of promposals.

Although Spanish teacher Christine Dysert never got asked to her senior prom, she said she thinks promposals are a cute and fun idea.

“I think it’s an exciting way to be asked to something that is one of the most important events of your young life, and it’s gonna make it really memorable,” she said.

Instead of going with a date, she went will all her friends, and she said they had a really good time.

“We’ve been friends for years, since like, elementary school, so it was kind of like a little last ‘hoorah’, we’re all going our separate ways,” said Dysert.

On the other hand, some adults, like social studies teacher Craig Bennett, have a totally different perspective on promposals.

“Complete honesty, I think they’re ridiculous,” he said. “I told my daughters if they were asked that way, they would not be allowed to go.”

Bennett said that he just simply asked the girl that he liked to prom. Nothing fancy.

He also said he had seen a promposal happen at Cambridge. It ended up going terribly.

“We had a football player that got arrested for stealing a goat a few years ago. He was gonna hold the goat and [hold a sign saying] ‘Will you goat to prom with me?’. It was all over national news, so you can look it up and find it. I’ve seen the extremes,” said Bennett with a laugh.

English teacher Jon Karschnik agrees with Bennett’s stance on promposals.

“They’re horrible, they’re awful, they are the worst thing,” he said.

Karschnik said that at the time of prom, he was dating, so it was a given that he and his girlfriend were going together. But everyone else merely asked. No posters, no nothing – just words.

Karschnik said the pressure of promposals is unnecessary.

He said for the boys, “it’s one more game of ‘one-upmanship’ that is all that high school is about to begin with, anyway.”

He said there is also a major pressure put on girls who are approached with a promposal, too.

“They [promposals] put girls in a position of being in if they turn this guy down that does this, they are mean to him or something like that,” Karschnik said.

In addition, Karschnik said that teenagers want to “do everything” in high school, and some special moments should be saved for the future, like a real proposal for a marriage.

Karschnik also said he wants to leave teens with a piece of prom advice.

“I always recommend — don’t take a date to prom. I recommend — go with your friends, and have a bunch of people together, hang out, and it’s infinitely more fun than trying to turn it into something romantic,” he said.

This story was originally published on The Bear Witness on March 20, 2019.