A high school prom is a rite of passage that should be a source of joy, not worry, anxiety or fear, regardless of the student's relationship status or sexual orientation, say local school administrators.
To make the prom inclusive, schools have developed policies to encourage students to come as singles or with friends, and education officials hope that also makes same-sex couples feel welcome.
The measures in place in schools in Placer County, the most right-leaning of Sacramento's four-county region, are representative of what other school districts do for school dances.
There's a good chance a same-sex couple wouldn't be noticed, said school administrators interviewed by The Bee.
That's a marked difference from the experience of a Mississippi teen whose school in March canceled its prom to avoid a legal confrontation over allowing her to attend the prom with a female date.
"If it were a gay couple, we would be fine with that," said Steve Williams, a spokesman for the Roseville Joint Union School District. "We treat (our students) the same."
Officials from Roseville Joint Union, Western Placer and Placer Unified school districts each said they welcome all students and that same-sex couples attending school dances did not encounter any problems or resistance.
Officials from San Juan and Folsom Cordova school districts cited similar policies allowing students to buy single tickets or as a group.
But interviews with students provide a more nuanced picture.
Last year's homecoming dance was a coming-out party of sorts for Del Oro student Taylor Donnot and her girlfriend, who also attends the Loomis school.
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