Now It’s Two: Quotes in Local Paper Costs Maryland Seniors Prom Night

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(AP) Two high school seniors who told a newspaper they planned to drink alcohol following their prom have been barred by the principal from attending the event, the students said Tuesday.

Shawnda Lawson and Nicole Taylor, both 18, were quoted in The Frederick News-Post on May 5 discussing their plans for underage drinking at post-prom parties this Saturday. “I like drinking,” the newspaper quoted Lawson as saying.

On Tuesday, the students and their parents said their comments had been misconstrued. They said they had been talking about other students, or about students in general, at Gov. Thomas Johnson High School.

News-Post Managing Editor David Elliott said the newspaper stood by its story.

Frederick County Public Schools spokeswoman Marita Loose said school administrators have “considerable latitude” to bar students from extracurricular activities under Maryland law.

She cited policy language that students may be disciplined for activities off school property if administrators believe the health or safety of the student may be compromised, or if school operations or activities may be disrupted.

Taylor said on Tuesday that if she chose to drink off-campus, it shouldn’t affect her prom privileges, even though she is underage.

“I know it’s 21 and I’m only 18, but as long as it’s OK with my mom, they shouldn’t worry about it,” she said.

Lawson said the story had damaged their reputations.

“Now everybody looks on us like we’re a lush or we’re an alcoholic,” she said.

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