By Jen Luu

On Fri. May 5, the Special Education Prom was held at the Unify Event Center from 10 am to 2 pm.  The purpose of the event allowed special education students to engage in similar high school dance activities.
“It’s to give our students the experience of going to a prom,” expressed special education teacher Rowena Vocal.
Most special education students do not attend the typical Junior or Senior proms held at school namely because they’re held at night and they’re costly.  As a result, the special-ed prom was created to provide more flexible and accommodating circumstances.
Participants include the special-ed students themselves, as well as the specialized academic instruction program of the different school districts.  Meaning, the prom is not limited to only Piedmont Hills High School students.
“(There was) dancing and socializing,” stated senior Susan Sanchez.  In fact, many of the activities at the event are similar to those of the traditional prom such as dressing up formally.
There is not a theme for the prom, but the decorations will align with the school colors.
The concept of a special education prom is not new; it was actually started over a decade ago.  This year, the head coordinator of the special-ed prom is special education teacher Coy Garrett at Yerba Buena High School.
“I think it started in 2003,” recalled special education teacher Maria Casiano.  What began as a thought eventually got executed.  Indeed, it soon became established as a tradition.
“It was an idea brought about by one of the old teachers.  In terms of who started it, it was basically a brainstorm of different special ed teachers,” said Ms. Vocal.
Similar to traditional proms, the location varies each year.  In one year, it was held at the Fairmont Hotel; the location mainly depends on the decisions of the teachers. ♦

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