Kokomo H.S. students organizing alternative prom for students left out by school policy

Kokomo H.S. students are raising money to hold their own prom after the school turned alternative students away from the official prom.
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KOKOMO, Ind. (WTHR) - It's a right of passage for many students.

Now, some central Indiana high school students say they're taking a stand against what they believe is an unfair prom policy and skipping the big night to hold a prom of their own.

Kokomo High School holds its prom every year in the fall. This year, it's set for November 4.

But some students say they won't be going after they got a flyer outlining rules for the prom, which said students in the alternative education program called "Twilight School" weren't invited this year.

"I get excited for prom every year," said 18-year-old Braxton Nickels.

Braxton Nickels was excited to attend the Kokomo H.S. prom before she was told she couldn't go. (Submitted photo)
Braxton Nickels was excited to attend the Kokomo H.S. prom before she was told she couldn't go. (Submitted photo)

Last year, Braxton wore a red dress to her prom at Kokomo High School.

"Every year, it's the best part," said Braxton.

This year, though, Braxton won't be going to Kokomo's prom after a flyer was passed out at school saying Twilight students, would not be sold tickets.

"I didn't believe it at first, so I called the school and I asked them and they said it was true," explained Braxton.

Eyewitness News got a copy of one of the flyers. It spells that out exactly in red lettering reading, "No tickets will be sold to Twilight students this year."

"There are lot of students in the Twilight program that have been talking about prom since the day we started school," said Braxton, who is in the Twilight program and set to graduate early.

The alternative education program is for adults and select high school students who go to school at night to earn their diploma.

"There's a lot of great students, really smart people in the program," Braxton explained.

"Twilight students were allowed to go to prom last year," she added, explaining they had to be under 21. "They checked the IDs every past year to make sure the age limit was enforced."

This year, Braxton says school officials told her they weren't doing that.

So Braxton and her friends, many who are not Twilight students but go to Kokomo High School, decided to throw their own prom on a different night, November 18 at Bel Air Events.

Kokomo H.S. students say the school distributed these flyers with the prom rules.
Kokomo H.S. students say the school distributed these flyers with the prom rules.

So far, they've raised more than $4,000 selling more than 100 tickets. They've also been selling baked goods at local businesses and say they've received a lot of support.

"I honestly think it's unfair that Twilight students can't attend prom," said Kokomo High School senior Amaya Martin.

Amaya is also helping to sell tickets organize the alternative prom.

She's nominated for Prom Queen at Kokomo's prom, but is skipping it because she says supporting her friend means more.

"We're just regular students who want to be able to go to prom together. That's all we want," said Braxton.

A spokesperson for the school district says the flyer quoted the student handbook, "The Lens," which misstated the prom policy for Twilight students.

A district spokesperson says Twilight students who are under 21, are in good academic standing and have no discipline problems, can apply to go to the prom.

The principal has to approve each application.

Braxton and the other students say they were never told about any application process for Twilight students or that the flyer quoted a policy that wasn't correct. They say the school district is changing their story.