Well, Yosemite High School Prom is over for 2013 and many students drove to Wolf Lakes Park in Sanger to enjoy a night of dancing and enjoying a fancy night out with their friends.
I am all for our students having a special night to commemorate another year of school gone by and to celebrate their friendships together. What I don't understand is why Yosemite High School administration would think having their students drive up and down Highway 41 on a Saturday night is a good idea. This is a very dangerous stretch of highway and we all have personal stories of accidents and loss on Highway 41.
It is nerve-wracking to send our children out on this highway, especially on a Saturday night when so many people are coming in and out of Chukchansi after drinking who knows how much alcohol. While I did let my son attend prom, his mother and I waited anxiously for him to let us know that he reached Sanger safely and then for him to arrive home after midnight because he had such a long drive home.
Holding the prom in Sanger also hurts our local economy. Every single student I know that attended prom had dinner in Fresno before actually going to the prom. If it was held locally, then they would have gone to our local restaurants that are very supportive of our high school students.
Instead, their money went to Fresno restaurants in another county entirely. It is bad enough that we already have to shop for suits, ties, shirts, tuxes and dresses in Fresno because there is no place to buy in Oakhurst, but having the prom in Sanger ensures that no money, except for whatever the school makes on the price of prom tickets, if any, goes to our local economy.
In short, I think that our local high school prom should be held locally so that our children don't have so far to drive and where they can support our local merchants by having dinner right here in Oakhurst. It just makes more sense.
Gary L. Murphy, Oakhurst