Kersten Demouchet, an 18-year-old high school student, was forced to stay at her school’s prom even after finding out that her family had just been in a serious car accident.
Demouchet was forced to stay at her Carencro High School prom on Saturday, March 1, after she found out her sister, cousin, one-year-old nephew, and friend were involved in a deadly crash.
School administrators barred her from going to the hospital.
Saturday night Demouchet’s sister, cousin and nephew were in a car crash in St. Martin Parish. Demouchet’s cousin, nephew and friend died on scene. Her sister, Lakesha Leon was in the hospital and died the next day.
Although relatives, notified Demouchet of the tragedy during prom, Demouchet said school administrators wouldn’t let her leave. Demouchet said she wanted to rush to the hospital immediately. “They didn’t want to let me go,” Demouchet said. “I went to the bathroom and just cried. I kept asking over and over if I could leave and they said no, you can wait.”
Demouchet says she was first told by a friend that her family members might have been involved with a shooting. Administrators tried to verify an incident with police officers at prom. The officers could not verify of an incident that had taken place in St. Martin Parish. When Demouchet said she learned it was a car crash, she notified administrators again. However, the incident was not verified through police.
The reason that Demouchet was held at the prom is because the Lafayette Parish school district enforces a lock-in policy during proms and homecoming dances. While the students can leave during emergencies, they are only allowed to do so if a parent is there to pick them up.
Joe Craig, a spokesman for the Lafayette Parish School District, released a statement:
“In a crisis situation, we’d really be concerned to release a student–first off–without verifying the incident, and–second off–it’s not a good thing to release a teenage driver to go to scene of crisis or catastrophe. We really know it’s a burden on a parent to show up to school, but we really don’t want to make another emergency to release a student in an emergency situation.”
Demouchet is asking theLafayette Parish School board to change the policy.
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