Romantic teen gets prom ban lifted and kudos for his gesture

Sun May 15, 2011 3:08pm EDT
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By Jonathan Allen

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Move over Casanova. James Tate got his highly publicized ban from the senior prom overturned and has secured his place in the pantheon of romantics.

A Connecticut headmaster reversed her decision this weekend to prohibit Tate from attending his prom as punishment for a stunt he pulled to invite his date.

The ban was imposed after Tate, a senior, sneaked onto school premises before dawn and pasted large cardboard letters onto the building's facade asking a girl to be his date.

"Certainly for us gentlemen here, James Tate has set for us a new standard for romanticism," Freeman Burr, superintendent of schools in Shelton, Connecticut, told reporters.

He spoke after Beth Smith, headmaster of Shelton High School, on Saturday said she was dropping the ban after the "international notoriety" it attracted proved a distraction at the public high school.

"Throughout the past week, the level of distraction created by this incident has affected the culture of Shelton High School, one that I have worked hard to establish," said Smith.

She said Tate and his two accomplices would now be handed "alternate consequences."

Tate's outdoor, oversized invitation to his prom read: "Sonali Rodrigues will you go to prom with me? HMU - Tate." HMU, an abbreviation for "hit me up", is the text-message equivalent of RSVP.   Continued...