Morgan Park to host prom the same day as track finals

Some high school seniors on Chicago's far South Side must decide between their senior prom and competing in the school's track and field finals.
April 24, 2014 3:33:09 PM PDT
Some high school seniors on Chicago's far South Side must decide between their senior prom and competing in the school's track and field finals.

The students and their parents said they have tried unsuccessfully to get Morgan Park High School officials to change the date of the school's prom so that those seniors can attend both events.

Morgan Park senior Regine Wilson has already heard from a number of colleges about possible scholarships for running track next year. Most are interested to see how she does at the state meet in Peoria first. But like a lot of her teammates, she's conflicted about the state meet because it's the same day as her senior prom.

"This should not happen," said Regina Wilson, Regine's mother. "[They] should not have to make this type of choice."

Morgan Park track and field Coach Derrick Calhoun is in the state coach Hall of Fame. He's won numerous state titles, coached future olympians and sent dozens of athletes to college on scholarship over his 26 year career at the school. It's a successful program which he believes ought to carry weight with whoever scheduled prom the same day as the state meet.

"Everyone wants to go to their high school prom, those are memories that are long-lasting with your school mates," Calhoun said. "And then there's the state meet, so for athletes, any athlete wants to go to the state championship."

School officials have reportedly said they are unable to change the date of the prom, which is scheduled for May 23. The Adler Planetarium is hosting the event, and some track parents said they had other dates available. Some parents even offered to pay the $1,400 required to switch the dates, but their offer was rejected.

"She don't want to choose, she wants to be able to go downstate and go to prom," Regina Wilson said.

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