Change of heart: Teenager banned from prom over huge sign CAN now go with his date


For millions of boys across America, asking a girl to the prom is never easy ... but one Connecticut teenager's request landed him in hot water he could never have imagined.

James Tate was banned from the prom after putting up huge cardboard lettering on his high school's wall.

But now after widespread outcry, the school has reversed its decision and he can go to the prom.

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An evening together: After the furore and ensuing reversal of the ban, James Tate is going to the prom with Sonali Rodrigues

An evening together: After the furore and ensuing reversal of the ban, James Tate is going to the prom with Sonali Rodrigues

Sign of trouble: The giant cardboard letters James and two pals stuck to the wall at the school

Sign of trouble: The giant cardboard letters James and two pals stuck to the wall at the school

The reverse decision came after lobbying from students, supporters across the country – and even from the high school's most famous alumnus, Texans quarterback Dan Orlovsky.

Shelton High School head teacher Dr. Beth Smith said on Saturday: 'I've decided to implement alternative consequences on a case by case basis beginning with James Tate and for other students who received suspension after April 1st, which would then permit some to attend prom.'

The furore began when James and a couple of friends went to the school late at night to post the huge message outside of the school's entrance.

Tough decisions: Head teacher of Shelton High School Beth Smith banned James from the prom but then said he could go

Tough decisions: Head teacher of Shelton High School Beth Smith banned James from the prom but then said he could go

Show of support: A Facebook page set up after the ban was swiftly joined by almost 200,000 people

Show of support: A Facebook page set up after the ban was swiftly joined by almost 200,000 people

It read: 'Sonali Rodrigues, Will you go to the prom with me? HMU – Tate'

HMU means 'hit me up.'

Sonali said yes to the invitation.

While some may regard the invite as amusing or sweet, school officials failed to be moved by it.

They suspended Tate and his two friends – and because school policy is to ban anyone from the prom who was suspended after April 1 – it seemed his special date was a no-go.

Not amused: The school's rules in the past have dictated that anyone suspended after April 1 has to miss the prom

Not amused: The school's rules in the past have dictated that anyone suspended after April 1 has to miss the prom

James said: 'I thought they would appreciate my sincerity and creativity.

'I thought maybe a reprimand — clean it up — which I was willing to do, and I ended up doing it on Sunday night, but instead, there's an investigation.'

The tale blew up on the internet and school administrators eventually reversed their decision.

Sonali Rodrigues
James Tate

Big night out: Sonali and James are looking forward to their special date

James ended up making a couple of appearances on TV and more than 197,000 people joined a Facebook page titled Let James Tate Go To The Prom.

Alongside school officials and the town's mayor, Dr Smith said she wanted the focus to be put back on learning at the school, the New York Daily News reports.

She said: 'I never thought that such a decision would lead to international notoriety as I make tough, unpopular decisions on a daily basis.'


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