No prom for students who skipped school to protest

PORTLAND, Ore. - Some local high school kids won't be going to their prom this weekend because they skipped classes all day to protest the district's latest proposed budget cuts.

A couple of dozen Parkrose High School students walked and chanted on Friday for the arts and an alternative program at the school called Parkrose Alternative Center for Education (PACE). Both programs will take a hit next year because of budget cuts - one art teacher will go (leaving just one for the school) and PACE will have fewer classes.

The protest comes with a consequence - the students who participated will not be allowed to go to prom this weekend. And the school's principal, Jared Freeman, said he's sticking to school policy on this one.

"An unexcused absence the day before a dance means you don't come to the dance," Freeman said.

Freeman is, however, discussing the prom ruling with the district. And as far as saving teachers and programs - he said that would have to come from the state.

"We need more funding to make that education what they want it to be," he said.

Freeman said the art program took a hit because all of the other programs at the school, like choir and band, already have just one teacher. And they don't want to cut any of those programs completely.

The budget cuts are proposals at this point and do not have school board approval - that will happen by the end of the month.