Shelton, Connecticut, school officials should have stuck to their guns and not allowed James Tate to attend the prom after he trespassed on school property and—with the help of two friends—wrote on the side of the school, “Sonali Rodrigues, will you go to the prom with me? HMU [hit me up]—Tate.”
I don’t think Tate should have been banned for breaking the law; I think he should have been banned because the gesture was so cheesy that it shouldn’t go unpunished.
The superintendent of schools said, “For us gentlemen, James Tate has set a new level of romanticism. If I was a 15-year-old [boy], I would probably spend the next year or two planning something to try and top this. Just next time, hopefully, they will not use the school building as a marquee.”
Really? Taping cardboard letters to the side of a building is the new level of romanticism? A grand “look at me” gesture meant to attract as much attention as possible? Honestly, think back to when you were in high school. If someone at your school did what Tate did, would you be like, “Go get ’em, fella”? I found the whole exercise cringe-worthy, regardless of the fact that the girl took Tate’s offer to “Hit Me Up” and said yes.
Look, I understand why people took up Tate’s case. A lot of people look back to high school as the greatest time in their lives—and to prom as the apex of that time—and they didn’t think it was right to deny him the opportunity to attend the big party. But don’t we realize what we’re encouraging here? Thanks to this James Tate is going to be that guy at Yankee Stadium who proposes to his girlfriend on a JumboTron. If you think that’s romantic, then you’re probably on Tate’s side. If you think that gesture is the height of schmaltz, then you might think (like I do) that James Tate cared less about going to the prom and more about getting people to talk about James Tate.
Enjoy the prom, James. And yes, I’m sort of kidding about this whole commentary. Sort of.