WDAY.com |

North Dakota's #1 news website 10,650,498 page views — March 2014

Published April 12, 2012, 11:30 PM

Fargo South lets senior know she can't attend prom two days before dance

Student hasn't made up enough detentions, has spent $700 on dress and accessories for dance
FARGO – Anjali Karna knew the school rule: Square up the detentions she’s accrued for tardiness before prom or she couldn’t go. And she thought she was on track to serve the last of them in time.

FARGO – Anjali Karna knew the school rule: Square up the detentions she’s accrued for tardiness before prom or she couldn’t go. And she thought she was on track to serve the last of them in time.

But Thursday, two days before the dance, the 17-year-old South High senior found out her math was off – she had a few detentions to go – and her ticket was no good.

“I was basically just crying in the assistant principal’s office,” she said.

She’s got $700 worth of prom gear, including the dress she’s been working to pay for herself. She’s got a date. But barring a last-minute reversal, she won’t be able to show them off come Saturday.

From the sounds of it, that’s not likely to change. School officials say the rule is meant to encourage responsible behavior and hold students accountable.

“I think the policy is to help kids make good, responsible decisions,” said Rick Buresh, the district superintendent.

He said there’s “a lot of communication” leading up to the make-or-break point and that most students comply in time.

“I don’t think it happens real frequently,” he said, adding that this is the first time a complaint about a specific student’s prom status under the rule has reached him personally.

Kartheek Karna, Anjali’s father, tried to reach a number of school officials Thursday when he heard about his daughter’s predicament. He said he spoke at length with an assistant principal who said the rule won’t have any teeth if the school doesn’t enforce it.

That would be fine by him – “I’m glad there’s discipline,” he said – but he says her date and another of her friends were granted exceptions for similar infractions.

He also spoke with Nancy Jordheim, the district’s assistant superintendent for human relations.

“She said she will check if there’ve been any exceptions made, and if there have, then she will let me know, but otherwise there is no recourse,” he said.

He says the situation is frustrating because his daughter – Fargo South’s student of the month in November – isn’t a troublemaker.

“She’s a good kid,” he said. “She’s got good grades. It’s not like she’s delinquent.”

Anjali, for her part, acknowledges that she earned the detention and miscounted how many she had left.

“I understand it’s a consequence,” she said.

But that doesn’t take the sting out of the prospect of missing her senior prom.

If the ban stands, Audra Kutz, whose daughter is a friend of Anjali’s, told The Forum she has offered to host an alternative event.

Kutz said she thinks the rule is heavy-handed.

“What lesson are they teaching? How to live in Russia?” she said.

Karna said she’s not sure what she’ll do if prom is a no-go. She’ll probably still attend an after-party with her friends.

“I’d probably still find a reason to wear the dress,” she said.

As for her date?

“I think he’ll stick with me,” she said.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Marino Eccher at (701) 241-5502


Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send a letter to the editor.

Tags: