About the Author:
Erica was born in Freeport,Illinois and moved to Rockford,Illinois when she was 14 years old.She currently attends Auburn High School. She actively volunteers through church and girl scouts. She enjoys reading,writing,being outside,and going on random adventures.She loves listening to music and her favorite bands are Underoath,Switchfoot,The Almost,and Hawk Nelson. In the future she plans to attend Northern Illinois University and major in Education. She plans to teach early childhood in Northern Illinois.She is attending summer camp at NIIU to gain perspective into the college experience and gain valuable skills for her future ambitions.She gives almost everyone she knows a nickname and loves the color yellow.


Dear Racine City Council,

My name is Whitney Perez. My husband Lorenzo and I have lived here in Racine for 15 years. Our daughter Sarah is a senior at Racine East High School. She is very active in Student Council, cheerleading, and Future Trophy Wives of America. I am very concerned about the possibility that prom might end this year.

Prom is very important. The prom has been around since the 1900's to help young people cross into adulthood. It is a cultural tradition that people look back on for the rest of their lives. Many people exchange prom stories throughout their lives. If we cancel prom, our children will be left out when these conversations come up.

Some groups at the town meeting argued that prom is too expensive but that's not true. The average family spends $807 on prom. In my opinion that is far from expensive. I have been saving for Sarah's senior prom since the day she was born and she plans to use every penny. If families find that tiny number out of their reach they can get donated items from Belle of the Ball. If they choose not to receive help then their children don't deserve to attend prom anyway. Students, like my daughter, should not be punished for being blessed.

High school prom encourages good behavior in teens. A couple in Racine put extreme amounts of effort into getting the car the girl's parents rode to prom in. While the idea of riding in an old car seems gross to me, it shows that prom teaches students how to work for what they want. Sarah has had to fight with her father almost daily to get exactly what she wants for her special night. Prom also encourages teens to keep good attendance and behavior during their senior year so that they will be allowed to attend. Students take responsibility in a lot of the planning needed to make their night absolutely perfect. Sarah has been booking tanning appointments since January and she has been on a celery and Ramen Noodle diet since March. This has taken a huge amount of effort from her and many of her peers do the same.

Prom teaches girls how they are expected to behave around men. It is expected that the men pay for dinner before prom, which teaches girls that if they look their absolute best, men will give them whatever their hearts desire. If young girls do not learn this they will chase silly dreams like "education” and “good character" that will only lead to disappointment and living with a lot of cats. Some people argued that our children will engage in "risky behavior" during prom weekend. These behaviors are all things our children will be doing nightly when they go to college and prom night is an opportunity for them to learn limits and the importance of setting designated behaviors. It would be wrong of us to discourage behaviors in May that we encourage in September.

Please consider how truly important prom is to the city of Racine. Our small town has gained lots of publicity and attention (which brings visitors) because of the prom we host here. Since the economy is sort of bad right now, it wouldn't be smart to cancel something our town and our children benefit from so greatly.


Whitney Perez

Whitney Jones is a stay at home mom who gives ehr daughter everything she wants.She enjoys cooking,cleaning,and taking care of her family.She has no hobbies because her husband doesn't want her to have anything to worry about. She is currently on a cottage cheese diet. She never watches t.v because the colors make her dizzy. She tries not to think because it makes her sad and confused.