Omaha mom petitions for remote learning prom

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – An OPS mom advocates for her daughter and asks the district to reconsider its attitude towards distant students attending the prom.

Tiffany Hobbs-Banks’ youngest daughter, Tanaya, has her prom dress hanging on the back of her door.

“I’m just – I’m going to be so excited to wear this dress,” Tanaya said.

The floor-length pink dress has been hanging there for a year.

“We got this dress for the prom of 2020,” explained Tanaya.

Her coordinating shoes are still in her box. The senior at Burke High School hoped this would be the year he would wear them until OPS announced it wasn’t.

“Really disappointed because … last year it was understandable because we all missed prom,” said Tanaya. “We all went through it together and we went through it with the seniors last year and this year it just feels like we’re alienated.”

On February 8, the district emailed families informing them that prom plans were underway but would only be available to eligible students attending the school in person.

In a follow-up inquiry, the Omaha Public Schools made the following statement:

“Since our return to personal learning, we have consistently adhered to personal learning in order to be able to participate in extracurricular activities and events. This reflects both the importance we attach to health and safety and the essential work we do to educate our students. This will also include a prom. “

Tanaya remotely attends school because of her mother’s health needs.

“I am a person with disabilities. I get sick faster than others and I don’t heal as quickly as others, ”said Tanaya’s mother Tiffany.

Tiffany has already spoken to school boards on behalf of her daughter and she plans to do so again tomorrow.

“I’m not going away,” she said with a laugh.

But she is not alone now. An online petition has hundreds of signatures and a parent-planned “red carpet” prom for distant learners is in the works if the district does not change its stance.

“We’re going to try to make sure they have a prom and a nice event to attend and just say, ‘Hey, I have to go to prom. I have to wear my dress that she has been wearing for a year, “said Tiffany.

By Monday evening, more than 500 distance-learning juniors and seniors had signed the petition, and 250 distance-learning juniors and seniors had signed up for the parent-organized prom.

IF YOU WANT TO GO: The OPS board meeting will be on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Other parents who want to talk about prom must be there by 6 p.m.

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