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Parents protest schools’ prom decision

Published April 13. 2018 11:29PM

Many students at Marian Catholic High School live within the Panther Valley school district. So it’s not uncommon for students from private Marian to date students from public Panther Valley, and attend each other’s dances.

But following a brawl at a playoff basketball game between the two rival schools, the schools have decided not to allow Marian students to attend Panther Valley’s prom, and vice versa.

A couple whose daughter attends Panther Valley have taken issue with the decision because they say her principal granted, then revoked, permission for her Marian boyfriend to attend the prom.

“My daughter should be allowed to take her boyfriend when she was already approved. She’s innocent in it all. It’s her senior prom that she’ll never get back, and it’s unfair,” Steve Krynock said.

Krynock and his wife, April, took their case to the Panther Valley school board Thursday night, dissatisfied with the result of meetings they had with the principal and superintendent.

School board President Wayne Gryzik said both schools came to an agreement, and that Panther Valley’s board was standing behind its administrators.

“We understand your concern, and as the board, we support the decision that’s been made, because it is a mutual decision between Marian and PV,” Gryzik said.

Steve Krynock acknowledged that his daughter’s boyfriend was one of the Marian students involved in a fight with Panther Valley students at a District 11 Class 2A boys basketball playoff game on Feb. 27.

While the boyfriend had attended several dances and games over the past two-plus years, the Krynocks said they expected that there would be consequences from the fight.

That’s why they were encouraged after their daughter met with Principal Joseph Gunnels and he said her boyfriend could attend the prom. However, a few weeks later, April Krynock said, Gunnels informed her daughter that the schools came to a mutual decision, and the boyfriend wasn’t allowed to attend.

“In my eyes, if you already gave your word to a student and then to say it’s a mutual decision, it’s kind of a lie, and it’s more of a retaliation,” April Krynock said.

She said it appeared Panther Valley changed its stance after Marian banned Panther Valley students from its prom. Marian Principal Jean Susko did not return a message left on Friday. Gunnels said following Thursday’s meeting that the issue was confidential.

The Krynocks said they are not upset with the decision to keep the students from attending each other’s proms, rather that Panther Valley reversed its position after giving approval.

Superintendent Dennis Kergick said both schools reached the decision together.

“My concept from the get-go was it’s mutual, and neither party should attend each other’s prom,” Kergick said.

 

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