For this post we feature an entry sent to us by Andrew Kriz, an alumnus of Naperville's Neuqua Valley High School and a law student at the University of Iowa. Andrew writes about a friend who was planning to go to Neuqua's prom tonight (5.2), but was denied the chance because he missed the deadline to buy a ticket. Are school administrators being too harsh? Or is this one of life's important lessons?
Andrew's post continues below.
May 2, 2008 by Andrew
I have a friend that is a Senior in High School and tonight is his Senior Prom. When most of us think of our High School Prom we think of good or funny things - - Like the blue tux that your friend wore, the crazy night you had with your friends out until 5am, or that special kiss you stole at the end of the night. My friend, unfortunately, will not have these fond memories (Believe it or not this post is law related) because of a few strict administrators at Neuqua Valley High School and a contract the school had with the Banquet Hall chosen for the night, Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois.
So my friend's group rented their Tuxes, the Limousine, the trip to Geneva the next day all planned out, just one thing missing, the tickets. The deadline for buying tickets was Wednesday. Every male in the group got their tickets on time except one, he forgot until Thursday morning. He went to buy them on Thursday thinking no big, really only 12 hours late, and they denied him the opportunity to purchase tickets to his High School Prom. The Administrators served my friend with, what Aurthur Bonfield likes to call, "The Writ of Tough Bananas." To my understanding because of security concerns the school had to submit an approved list of attendees to the venue and if they changed that list it would create a breach of contract resulting in a set fee of somewhere around $500. My friend's group doesn't know what to do, how can they go without two of their friends?
How many times has something important gone way off your radar? As law students we like to think not many, but we're human just like everyone else. Just the other day I accidentally forgot about a meeting and it was a well needed reminder during finals time that I am indeed NOT a robot. Regardless of our margin of human error, yeah, the kid screwed up, big time. Still, this won't be one of those screw ups he'll be likely to forget.
One of the things I've come to learn repeatedly here in law school is that there is a notion of justice and equity that runs through all disciplines of the law. Sometimes cases are decided in a way that makes them entirely inconsistent with the law, many times because it is just or equitable to go against the principals in a specific case. To law students preparing for finals, these cases drive us mad, but during the semester it's a different story - to decide these cases consistent with the law feels wrong, like justice is not being served. This seems to be the case for my friend. It just doesn't feel right to disallow a high school senior entry into his prom- separate him from the community he has striven to be a part of for four years. If he came to the door expecting to get in without a ticket and no complaints prior, this would be a different story, but with several days advance warning? This is just one of those cases that doesn't sit right in my stomach.