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OPS parents unhappy that remote students are excluded from prom

OPS says only in-person students can attend
Posted at 6:22 PM, Mar 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-20 12:45:21-04

Many high school students look forward to that night to remember for years — prom.

"I've been looking forward to it since eighth-grade year because I've been looking at my sisters getting ready for prom, my brothers getting ready for prom and they go with their dates and have a good time," said Tanaya Banks, a senior at Burke High School.

Now, Omaha Public Schools said students learning remotely are not allowed to attend.

In a statement to 3 News Now, OPS said because they understand how important these milestones are, they have found ways to allow prom to proceed with health and safety protocols in place.

"Since our return to in-person learning, we have been consistent in the requirement of attending in-person learning to participate in extra-curricular activities and events. This will include prom. This reflects both the importance we place on health and safety and the essential work to educate our students," the statement read.

Parents of remote learners don't agree with OPS' stance and believe their children should still be able to attend.

"To me, they've worked just as hard to have this milestone that other students have and are going to get. So offer it. It was robbed of them last year...we get that but to take it away from them now, when you have the option to give it to them, just doesn't make sense to me whatsoever," said Tiffany Hobbs-Banks, mother of Tanaya Banks.

While parents are still petitioning and asking OPS to change their minds, they have begun to plan their own prom. Parents of remote learners say they should still be able to celebrate this milestone.

Tanaya said she's happy she'll be able to celebrate her high school years either way, but she wants to experience it with some of her in-person learning friends.

"The prom OPS is throwing, I feel like that'd give us an option to see our classmates and peers that we haven't seen for a year and I would really like to see some of my friends that I haven't seen before I graduate," Tanaya said.

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