Nease Homecoming Dance Space Is Too Small; UNF Space Can Hold Only 850 out of 1,900

By Abel, Christina | The Florida Times Union, October 8, 2005 | Go to article overview

Nease Homecoming Dance Space Is Too Small; UNF Space Can Hold Only 850 out of 1,900


Abel, Christina, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Christina Abel

As Nease High School students work feverishly to make last-minute hair appointments, limo reservations and date arrangements for the Oct. 15 homecoming, school officials are working at the same pace to accommodate their 1,900 students in a space that can hold only half that number.

This year's homecoming dance will be held at the University of North Florida's University Center, which has room for only 850 people.

Since tickets went on sale Monday, school officials have tested several different options to deal with the space limitations.

They considered only letting Nease students attend the dance. But that almost led to a student boycott.

So they decided to let students from other schools in, but only if they go with seniors and if they pass background checks.

Also, the tickets are being sold by class, starting with the seniors.

So freshmen are last on the list; even seniors' dates from other schools have a better chance of getting in.

On Monday and Tuesday, when the dance was still limited solely to those from Nease, about 40 students threatened to boycott the affair, saying their dates are from other schools. Senior class President Frankie Fuller said he wouldn't attend the dance without his girlfriend, a University of Florida freshman who graduated from Nease last year.

Several other seniors said that it was their last homecoming at Nease and, as in years past, they wanted to bring students from other schools.

By Wednesday, school officials agreed to compromise and let seniors bring dates from other schools, as long as they are screened and approved by Nease's assistant principals.

"We've come up with a plan that I hope will make all students happy, at least the first 850," Principal Linda Thomson said.

Thomson, who is new this year, said that it is standard procedure to screen students who are from other schools and that that was done in the last two schools in which she worked. …

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