High School Marks Unvaccinated Students at Prom, Forces Them to Identify Themselves


I am a huge proponent of the COVID-19 vaccines, and have written as such. I got the vaccine. I think you should get the vaccine. I think your dog should get the vaccine.

But with that in mind, it is ludicrous to argue that an unvaccinated person should be shunned, or become an outcast from society. Draconian restrictions associated with the pandemic have lasted long enough, and it is time for everyone, vaccinated or otherwise, to resume their normal lives.

Unfortunately, many Americans, including many in positions of power, seem desperate to cling on to the veneer of safety.

This group is perhaps best exemplified by one New Hampshire high school which, ignoring the state’s motto of “Live Free or Die,” decided it would be a good idea to identify unvaccinated students with numbers written on their hand.

For what purpose, you might ask? For prom, of course!

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According to the Boston Herald, Exeter High School instituted the policy as part of its contact-tracing efforts related to its senior prom. The fact that the prom was held in an outdoor tent — and outdoor transmission of COVID-19 is extremely rare — was irrelevant. Contact tracing was a necessary precaution, per school officials, if students wanted to dance.

A statement from the high school outlining the “safety” protocols explained some of the details.

“Students who were unable to provide a vaccination card because they did not have or share a card or had not completed the full vaccination process had a number written on their hand,” the statement read.

The prom website wasn’t much help either.

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“Because we are allowing students to dance, it is not the expectation that students will social distance while dancing. There are three dance floors and students who are on each floor will be recorded at regular intervals. It is suggested that students rotate dance floors in order to avoid close contact with other students,” the contact tracing portion of the website read.

The school claimed that “without a contact tracing system, all attendees would have had to be quarantined if there was a positive case tied back to the event,” a claim that contravenes the latest CDC guidelines. According to the CDC, vaccinated individuals can “refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic” and “refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic.”

Well, add “dancing” to the list of normal things that COVID has apparently canceled in New Hampshire. Naturally, parents and students alike were infuriated, and there was intense pushback against the school from the community.

State Rep. Melissa Litchfield, a Republican from Brentwood, shared numerous quotes from angry parents on her Facebook page.

“They also left the list of student names (first and last) with the info on whether they were vaccinated or not on a table outside after the prom. I found it the next morning. This information should 1. Not have been shared and 2. Should never be left where anyone can have access to it. I have a photo of the list,” one parent said.

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” ….was pretty fired up today after learning that kids who weren’t vaccinated had a number written on them in Sharpie at the EHS prom last night. If they were on the dance floor they had to raise their hands after every three songs so their numbers could be recorded by other underclass students for contact tracing purposes,” another complained.

School and district administrators responded with meaningless platitudes. They promised an internal audit, and claimed that they treated student privacy with the utmost regard.

I’m sure many families feel otherwise.

While it seems impossible to resist the frivolities of school boards and other public officials, there is a lot that parents can do. After all, this has been the year of school choice, in which advocates and state legislatures recognized parental freedom to a never-before-seen extent.

By speaking out at school board meetings, investigating alternative education methods or even hosting their own prom, parents can fight back against the powers that be.

In this particular instance, these New Hampshire school administrators need to get a grip, follow the science and recognize that they are no longer acting in the best interests of their seniors and families.

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