NOT HAPPY: Wayne Evans was furious when he found out his son might be banned from the formal.
NOT HAPPY: Wayne Evans was furious when he found out his son might be banned from the formal. Barclay White

Nanango High formal ban is scrapped

NANANGO State High School has backed down on strict rules regarding formal attendance after a student and parent backlash.

Under rules set by the school, Year 12 students would have only received an invitation to the formal if they finished the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

The new rule was sent to parents in a letter from deputy principal John Lofthouse last week, which stated "students will need to have completed the requirements of the Bronze (Duke of Edinburgh) Award in order to be eligible to receive an invitation".

The awards, which are named after Prince Phillip, are a youth program to build leadership and life skills.

Wayne Evans was furious when he found out about the requirement and feared it could mean his Year 12 son would be unable to attend the formal.

"I was disgusted. You can't force them to do something that not everyone can do," Mr Evans said.

His son was in a car accident last year and suffered health problems as a result, which Mr Evans feared could stop him completing the physical aspect of the award.

"I didn't want him to hurt his neck," he said.

He was also concerned his son would not have the time to finish all the requirements for the award by the time of the formal.

"I don't want him to worry about this: I want him to worry about his studies," he said.

Anger spread online and a change.org petition protesting the rule quickly gained more than 250 signatures.

The rule was short-lived and principal Darryl Early informed students and parents it was scrapped in a letter on Wednesday.

Mr Evans was relieved but still angry that students could have been banned from their formal.

"It's about saying goodbye to your friends - you shouldn't be told you can't go," he said.

 

What students need to do to earn a Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award:

  •  Service - volunteer in the community.
  •  Physical recreation - improve health and fitness.
  •  Skills - develop a new skill, such as an instrument or foreign language.
  •  Adventurous journey - a challenge that could include bushwalking or kayaking.
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