FORT PIERCE, FL (WFLX) Homecoming dances - for high school students it is considered a "rite of passage." But for students at Lincoln Park Academy in Fort Pierce, it is not going to happen this year. The school's principal has canceled the much-hyped event, which was supposed to be held in December.
Parents, students and former students have since been taking to WFLX facebook page with questions and concerns over what they describe as already "low school spirit," as one Facebook user wrote.
The St. Lucie County School District told FOX 29 that there are a number of reasons why the dance has been called off this year.
The main reason for canceling the celebration is over security concerns. The team that organizes the dance, which is made up of teachers, said not enough chaperones have appeared at dances in past years. Officials also said dozens of students show up without student IDs, causing problems at the door.
There have also been complaints that students dance too suggestively and wear risqué clothing that doesn't comply with the dress code.
Senior Ailynda Ho said her school is an A-rated school, but she said it would earn a much lower grade for school spirit.
"We, as a high school without a football team, we don't have as much spirit or activities as the other high schools," she said. "So homecoming and prom are the two predominant things that we can connect with the other schools with."
"We're the top high school, middle school in the district. We're ranked nationally, and this is what they're getting. No homecoming," said Audra Macon, whose two children attend Lincoln Park Academy.
Kent Craig said he chaperoned last year's homecoming dance. He said he's one of many parents who are shocked this year's celebration has been cancelled.
"This was an arbitrary decision," said Craig. "I don't think the students were involved in it, obviously the parents weren't involved in it, and I think we all should be, it's all of our school, it's not Mr. Cox's school."
But it is within Principal Alan Cox's power, as well as the LPA design team, which is made up of teacher department chairs and the administration.
Ho said since it's her final year of high school, it was her last chance to participate in the homecoming dance. Now, that chance is gone.
"I kind of felt a little, like, robbed of Senior year," she explained. "That's when you want to do everything."