WAUKEGAN, Ill. (CBS) – High schoolers everywhere are getting ready for prom, but at most high schools, special needs students get left out every year. That’s not the case at Waukegan High School.
WBBM Newsradio’s Veronica Carter reports Waukegan High School is holding a “Walking on Sunshine” prom for its 40 special needs students.
It’s an idea hatched by bus driver Mark Klemm and grandmother Kathi Seyler, whose granddaughter Cassie was invited to the traditional prom, but couldn’t accept.
“There’s no way she could go to a regular homecoming dance, or prom,” Seyler said. “They’ve got flashing lights, they’ve got extremely loud music, so many strangers, so much going on; it’s intimidating.”
The Walking on Sunshine prom will be a little more subdued than your average prom; no flashing lights, no booming music, and lots of supervision by people who know how to deal with these special students.
Seyler said Cassie and the other students are beyond excited for the Walking on Sunshine prom, scheduled for April 6.
“Maybe the word prom, they didn’t understand before. Now they do. They know this is an extra-special night that’s just for them,” she said.
Local businesses chipped in to donate flowers, dresses, tuxedos, and food. A local golf course is hosting the prom. The city’s parks department even taught the students how to dance.