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“Completely inappropriate:” Some parents displeased, even disgusted by prom favor at West Allis school

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WEST ALLIS (WITI) -- In the days leading up to prom, school officials at West Allis Central High School warned students about the dangers of underage drinking and drinking and driving. Some parents say the parting gift students received after prom on Saturday night, May 9th undermined that message.

Parents and students say in the past, prom favors included things like sunglasses or lanyards. Some say this year's gift was totally inappropriate.

The signs warning against underage drinking remain out front at West Allis Central High School. In the days leading up to prom, students presented the message in class.

West Allis Central High School

West Allis Central High School

"Don`t drink. Don`t get into a car with a drunk driver," Ana Kassandra Cavero-Rivera, a student at West Allis Central High School said.

"I was very proud of the school for doing the presentation like that," Cavero-Rivera's mother, Johanna Rivera said.

Rivera says her pride turned to disgust when she picked up her daughter from prom on Saturday night.

West Allis Central High School prom favor

West Allis Central High School prom favor

"She tells me `oh Mom, guess what I got for a favor at my junior prom?` And I looked at it and I was quite surprised because it was completely inappropriate," Rivera said.

"As we were walking out, the whole way leaving prom, you could just hear everybody making jokes about how they`re promoting underage drinking. It was weird," Cavero-Rivera said.

The West Allis-West Milwaukee interim superintendent wouldn't answer questions about the champagne glasses handed out to students as prom favors. Instead, a statement was released, reading:

The West Allis-West Milwaukee School District Office has learned that on Saturday, May 9th, 2015 that the students at Central High School who attended their school’s prom received a party favor (gift) at the conclusion of their prom in the form of what appears to be a glass champagne glass. Neither the WAWM Schools nor Central High School staffs condone the use of alcoholic beverages or material that portrays these types of material.

All advisors will be required to pre-approve any further favors (gifts) to their building administrators prior to ordering and/or distributing items like this in the future for any events."

West Allis Central High School

West Allis Central High School

A school district spokesman says students were supposed to receive a candle with the glass, but for some reason, they only got the champagne flutes.

Rivera says someone from the school should've seen what was being handed out.

"Wouldn`t you at least stop at that point and say `wait a second, I did not approve these gifts. Why are you giving these?' Something," Rivera said.

School district officials haven't yet sent parents an explanation as to why students only received the glasses -- without the candles. It is unclear whether administrators plan on doing so.

West Allis Central High School

West Allis Central High School

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43 comments

    • Former party planner

      Because the planning committee has a budget. Personalized glasses are some of the cheapest favors you can get for a group . Adding the candles made them candle holders.

      • Former WAWM 2002

        As a previous alumni of WAWM school, I have received champagne glasses as our prom favors. One had a candle in it and the other had chocolates. None of our parents over reacted, and we weren’t promoting under-aged drinking. This is really sad that it has gone viral to so many other states, making West Allis look bad.

  • Jason Polzin

    I think you are all overreacting seriously it not like they were actually giving the kids Champagne…. it is just a glass…. big deal last I checked Champagne is not the drink of choice to get drunk with and yet these kids are either 17 or 18 mostly they will all be 21 eventually… unless there is a secret to stop aging which I’m sure we would all love to know about. this is something that is novelty and can be used in the future. I feel sad for the direction this world is going we have grown too scared and into a overprotective state. End of story it is just a glass what the recipient of said glass does with it is on them not anyone else. A glass is incapable of filling itself with booze it takes a human being to do so.

    • Richard

      Exactly! These helicopter parents are ridiculous! If they were giving them alcohol, I could understand. But a glass with the prom year engraved?! Come on! These parents don’t trust their kids enough to know that it is just a glass. Instead, they want to attack the school rather than hold their off spring accountable, should they actually put alcohol in that glass! They could drink apple juice from it for all I care. These are the same people that blame a gun when a criminal uses one to commit a homicide! How about this West Allis parents, blame the actual person for their actions and hold them accountable! Stop deflecting your failures or fears onto society because you have a poor ability to teach right from wrong!

  • EventPlanner

    It’s a glass. When I was in high school, we received one, too, at Prom. It doesn’t promote anything other than a keepsake from a formal event! Sounds like the parents need to stop reading into everything.

    • RAR

      Me, too! Graduated in 2001 and we received a champagne glass as a junior prom favor, as well. My parents didn’t even react to it. I had it on a shelf in my room for a couple of years and then it went in a Goodwill box when I moved out of my parents’ house. People need to get a grip.

  • Cathi Probst

    As a former teacher, and Prom Planner….I can tell you, the cost of Party favors has increased dramatically. Each Prom goer has an expectation of a great parting gift, something unique and “cool”. There is usually a Prom planning committee and they are largely responsible for the choices of theme, color, location, gifts. I had my planners chose from an array of picture frames for the Prom I planned at Nathan Hale. Yes, they cost more, which increased the cost of Prom itself (for which I took heat) but I didnt want to deal with parental fallout. Ultimately the advisor’s judgment is on the line.

    The really sad part is that all advisors will be held to the bar of the lowest common denominator. Meaning, all advisors will now be treated as if they also have questionable judgment. This will definitely impede the progress of many of our clubs, groups and activities.

  • kourtney k

    This was our parting gift for my senior prom. The parents found out and put up a stink about it. The school held on to them until our 5 year HS reunion and that is when we got them. We just drank straight out of the bottle/can the night of prom.

  • IDIOTS

    It’s a GLASS! What you put in it is your own responsibility. When they start handing out home brewing kits maybe i’ll be upset but until then a glass is just a glass.

  • FrankieSaysRELAX

    That’s what we got as a favor at prom back in 1995 and no one NOT ONE PARENT OR KID thought anything of it. It was simply a symbol of a celebration and something we stuck on a shelf in our rooms or threw out when we moved out.

  • Angela

    How many of these parents received the same favor at their proms? Did they start drinking because of it? I feel sorry for kids these days. So many parents won’t let their children live. They won’t be able to function on their own.

  • Melissa

    As a former student of Central, we received the exact thing, but with a jellied type candle in it 10 years ago. I believe it was a mistake and when they realized (if they did) that there was no candle in it, they were too lazy to fix it. Who cares. They didn’t give the kids actual alcohol…get over it.

  • Gary Treder

    I have had 3 of my children go through West Allis Central, and it is a great school and my daughter attended prom Saturday night and said it was one of the best nights of her life. This parent should take the responsibility of teaching their child right from wrong, it is NOT the schools responsibility to do that. It’s called PARENTING!!

  • Nicole

    I remember when I was in High School the parting gift was a champagne flute with the prom theme on it. I don’t understand what the problem is. My child also attends Central and if she were to come home with one I would not be upset. Some parents need to get a grip.

  • Chris Pacyga

    My child was one of those kids at Central that received the champagne glass. I think the gift signified elegance. A prom is like a wedding. You see champagne glasses at a wedding. I don’t think it was the intent of the school to give out the glass and tell the kids to go drink now. I did not interpret it that way in any fashion. It is just a keep sake. You can drink juice or soda out of it too. Teach your kids right from wrong and they will know what to do with it. It is on a shelf in my daughter’s room.

  • Bonnie

    I think this group of parents needs to get a life. I graduated 40 years ago and we got them. You can’t put kids in a rubber room without windows. Perhaps they should be more worried about the sexy big girl dresses and the garters that are removed. Since Prom has long been a night of lost virginity, they should be given condoms. Be realistic. If their parenting is up to par there should be no worries.

  • Joe Divine

    We got the same gifts at 3 different proms I went to in the late 90’s where was the outrage then? So what it’s a champagne flute big deal…. It’s not a symbol of drinking it’s a symbol for a special occasion. Growing up we got to use champagne flutes on holidays like the adults it did not mean we got champagne, sparkling apple juice if we were lucky….

  • Maddy

    So people are getting pissy over the fact that the school gave out champagne glasses? You’re kidding me right? It’s a nice glass commemorating a special night. I mean if they were serving alcohol in it then yeah, I’d have a problem, but it’s a glass. How it’s ‘totally inappropriate’ is a little hard for me to comprehend.

  • JR

    Both my junior and senior proms we got champagne flutes for party favors; my husband did for his as well. This was in the mid 1990s. It’s not like we were given a bottle of liquor and told “here, have fun.” A champagne flute could be used for decorative purposes. As a matter of fact, I have never used mine. Get over it, if you teach your kids right, it doesn’t matter what the party favor is.
    Also, to help combat/prevent underage drinking at our prom, the school/PTA sponsored a lock in. They had games and food all night long until 5 or 6 am. I will also never forget our 12th grade social studies teacher who said, “I want to see everybody in class on Monday morning, if you need a ride for whatever reason and can not call your parents, call me, I will come get you and bring you home. No questions asked.”

  • donald

    The school should take a look at what there leting the school pride or what they call it these days and take back the glass .and make sure that all the parnets know what the school gives out to the kids the school should eat the hole bill.and learn from there maustake

  • Paul

    Heck, even if they gave out candles, I’m sure there would be parents claiming the school was promoting smoking. After all, they could use the candle to light their cigs and weed. Just the same way as they could use their glass to drink alcohol. What has the world come to?

  • Distance girl

    I’m a senior at Central and this is by far the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to feel obligated to drink just because I’m given a glass, that’s basically saying, ban all ads for alcohol because I’m going to be to influenced to drink. It’s not the schools fault, if the kids drink that’s on them and the parents not doing their parantal duties. As a student, I’m very offended, and the students at our school know better than to do those things.

  • Bunnie

    Because of the nature of the gift it should of been run by officials first. There are many things to consider including religious beliefs. My son and the young men and women he is friends with, and who were at the prom, have enough common sense to know not to drink. Please don”t hold this against the young people at Central because there are so many good young men and women.

  • Ken Ferrier

    Ok, so an 18 year old cannot figure out that it is just a novelty gift? And they are allowed to graduate? Let’s see, you can go to another country and die for your country or watch your buddy get his head blown off and yet you are not considered mature enough to have a beer or be treated like an adult in this country.

  • Erin

    It’s a GLASS. That’s not the problem. The beverage inside would be the problem. Hope there are no Solo cups at the class picnic. For Heaven’s sake, if the SHAPE of a beverage holder is enough to make you kid want to drink, you’ve got some serious problems. How about the parents and the kids both be RESPONSIBLE for their actions, and not blame a piece of glass? My family has always let the little kids drink out of champagne flutes at New Years. But guess what? There was CIDER in the glass. Who cares?

  • Diana

    I got one at my prom with kisses chocolate and m&ms and all I did was eat the candy and keep the glass as a dust collector. It now sits in the back of my fully stock wine rack, still never used! In my opinion these “kids” are all young adults entering the “real” world where they will soon be responsible for making their own decisions. You must not be confident in your parenting if you have to question your child’s decisions, if you taught them well they will choose well!

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