The email came to Hardy County Health Department Administrator Bill Ours on Tuesday, June 16.
“From the Governors Office:
“Proms are no, if affiliated with school. Private (non-school related gatherings up to 100 OK at this time.”
When Ours relayed the information to Hardy County Schools Superintendent Sheena VanMeter, she shared it on the school’s Facebook page.
The response was immediate and discouraged.
“So sorry for these kids being robbed of their senior year.”
“So sad, the class of 2020 has been dealt a bad hand.”
In addition to reactions of disappointment, there were questions about funds.
“What about all the money that was put into the prom decorations, the cater(sic) for food, the DJ for music?”
“Is the governor going to reimburse folks that went out and got gowns after we were told they would be having one?”
Others suggested some alternative ideas.
“What about having the prom at Walmart? Seems no issue of people gathering in there.”
“Have a masquerade prom. Everyone wears a mask and gloves. Might be fun!”
“Why can’t they have the prom outside?”
During his press briefing on Wednesday, June 17, Governor Justice reiterated his stance.
“There is nothing I can do about this,” he said. “Unfortunately, proms still cannot be allowed. It’s not only extremely difficult, it’s for all practical purposes impossible to keep social distancing indoors, and especially when you’re having close dancing and singing.”