James Tate was suspended—and thus banned from prom—for posting an elaborate prom invitation on his high school’s building. But the world rallied behind him and his headmaster, sticking firmly to her decision as recently as Thursday, has finally relented.
NewsFeed detailed the first few chapters of the story here, wherein Tate is ironically banned from the dance and his headmaster, Beth Smith, says she’s not going to go around compromising school procedures just because this kid has a cute story. We also dug more deeply into why Tate’s tale resonates so much with the American people—donning our Sigmund Freud hat to explain how his plight had become a national phenomenon.
As of this morning, the Facebook page for “Let James Tate Go To Prom” was liked by more than 195,000 people, and another page selling Tate-for-prom-king-type T-shirts is growing. (The best one reads: “Vote for
Pedro Tate.”) His fellow students staged a sit-in and various high-profile people, from the mayor in the Connecticut town of Shelton where he goes to school, to Jimmy Kimmel, weighed in on his behalf.
According to the AP, Smith admitted that the “international notoriety” of her decision did factor in when she finally chose to let Tate attend. She had previously been adhering to a school rule that anyone and everyone who is suspended after April 1 will also be banned from prom. Now the additional prom-attendance punishment will only be doled out on a case-by-case basis.