It’s prom season. And every teen worries about the same thing: finding a date. For some kids, especially those with special needs, finding a date can be brutal.
Jayce Whisenhunt was looking forward to his high school prom – and he even had a pretty date – one who he knew would protect him from bullying should it occur. But they only got as far as the door.
Jayce’s date was his sister, Jessica Helling, age 24. The two were unaware of the school’s rule that no one could bring a date over 20. “As soon as I said my age, she said, ‘Oh no, no, no. You can’t come in here. Nobody over the age of 20 can come in here,’” Helling said. “I said, ‘But ma’am, he’s special needs. He’s my little brother. We’re siblings. It’s not like we’re boyfriend and girlfriend.’ ‘I can’t help that ma’am.’”
Jayce could stay, but not his date – so they took a prom picture quickly and left, humiliated and hurt.
In an interview with WSMV News, school official Elise Shelton confirmed that the school does not allow dates over the age of 20 to attend prom. Guests who are 19 and 20 must also be background checked. She said Jayce and his sister never RSVP’d. If they had requested an exception in advance, Shelton says the school could have worked with them.
Their story has quickly gone viral on social media, and the community is organizing another special prom for Jayce
June 10, complete with dinner, a DJ and red carpet His sister will be prom queen.
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