Senior may go to prom after all

May 14, 2011 at 4:56 PM

SHELTON, Conn., May 14 (UPI) -- A Connecticut high school senior who invited a girl to the prom by taping it to a wall at the school will be allowed to attend, school officials said Saturday.

James Tate and two friends who helped him received one-day suspensions from Shelton High. Under the previous rules, everyone suspended after April 1 was barred from the prom.

Beth Smith, the school's principal, announced a change in policy, The Hartford Courant reported. There will be alternative penalties instead of the prom ban.

Tate became a hero in Shelton and elsewhere; his local admirers include Shelton School Superintendent Freeman Burr, the newspaper said.

"For us gentlemen, James Tate has set a new level of romanticism," Burr said. "Principals have to make difficult decisions every day. No one could have anticipated this kind of response."

A Facebook page dedicated to supporting his bid to go to the prom has 196,000 fans.

Tate had a simple message in individual letters: "Sonali Rodrigues, will you go to the prom with me? HMU [Hit me up] -- Tate." The school said his action was a safety violation, although he said he wore a helmet and had one friend hold the ladder while the other put tape on the letters.

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