If it was any other year, this ‘homecoming party’ wouldn’t be a big deal. But it’s 2020. And there is a pandemic.
Ola High School, just outside of Atlanta, Georgia had no plans of hosting a large homecoming dance this year, but that didn’t stop parents from doing it.
Photos on social media show students wearing bronzer and hoop earrings. Boys wore rented tuxedos and boutonnières to match their dates’ blue satin. Bright green homecoming court sashes sat draped across sequin dresses and giant crowns rested atop loose curls.
There were little COVID precautions taken.
“It’s my daughter’s senior year, so I hosted a dance,” one parent, Beth Knight, told The Daily Beast over Facebook messenger. “It was terrific.”
“We sold over 300 tickets, but only about 250 kids actually showed up because they were warned by teachers and coaches that they should not attend because of the virus,” Knight added. “The kids who came had fun.”
A slew of social media accounts are tagged to the party and there isn’t a mask in sight.
“Dancing it off,” one apparent attendee posted on Instagram, squatting in front of a wall, with students in black and red dresses behind him. “This do be our last hoco,” wrote another student. (“Hoco” appears to be the vogue term for “homecoming.”)
“The dance was nine days ago,” Knight continued. “I have not heard of anyone testing positive who attended the dance. Kids need to have some normalcy to help with anxiety and depression. Don’t you agree?”
Knight was unwilling to list any COVID precautions taken by organizers of the dance. This appeared to be consistent with posts on her Facebook page in the days surrounding the event, which featured a #burnthemask hashtag, along with allegations that “making kids wear masks is child abuse.” She also shared a post arguing that the top infectious disease expert in the country, Dr. Anthony Fauci, “should be in prison.”
Many parents encouraged their kids to attend the party, with many believing that their children don’t have to worry about COVID-19 as it typically only affects older people.
Local officials made a statement stating that they do not condone this type of event at this point in time, but the only thing they can really do is have an officer drop in on such a situation and request that they disperse.