NEWPORT BEACH, CA (RNN) – With prom and NFL draft fever sweeping the country, one group of high school students decided to combine the two events, creating controversy in southern California.
Students at Corona del Mar High School in Newport Beach, CA allegedly held a "prom draft," where junior and senior boys picked from their female classmates the way NFL franchises pick draft-eligible student athletes for their teams.
The Orange County Registerreports that students have orchestrated the "prom draft" for several years. However, in a letter sent to parents, school Principal Kathy Scott asked that this year's draft be halted.
"I am sure that the intention of this 'draft' is not to be harmful, but it may be. It is not OK for any student to be objectified or judged in any way," Scott said in a letter obtained by The Los Angeles Times.
The draft included rules for boys picking prospective dates, including one that states "sophomores [girls] can be drafted," according to the Times. In one instance, one male student reportedly paid $140 to move up in the draft order to have a better shot at a specific date.
The event was broadcast by students on Twitter, via the now private and protected Twitter account @cdmprom_insider. While some parents and fellow students found the draft to objectify teen girls, other parents told the Orange County Register that it's nothing more than friends trying to find dates to prom.
One student told KTLA that this "prom draft" is meant to "avoid conflict" and not meant "to hurt any of the girls' feelings." A male student told the The Daily Pilot that, "A lot of the girls respect the draft and stick with those dates." Many Corona del Mar students call the controversy "overblown."
The school's prom is June 7, and the students involved could face disciplinary action for the event.
The "prom draft" is a part of the increasing popularity of other prom-related stunts, including "promposals," where boys ask prospective prom dates to the big dance with grand and romantic gestures.