Connecticut prom age dispute: How old is too old?

A Connecticut teen says her school is forbidding her 21-year-old date from attending prom with her. How old is too old to attend prom?

Screenshot from WFSB report
This screenshot shows high school senior Mikayla Perlotto, 18, with her boyfriend, Ethan Gleason, 21. School officials have expressed concerned over the age of Mr. Gleason, based on his ability to secure alcohol for underage students.

School officials in the small city of Torrington, Conn. are trying to answer an age-old question: How old is too old for the prom?

Torrington High School senior Mikayla Perlotto, 18, wants to bring her 21-year-old boyfriend to next month's prom. But officials at her school said no because of concerns that he is of legal drinking age and capable of supplying alcohol to minors.

Ms. Perlotto and her mother, Donna, took their case to the local Board of Education on Wednesday night, urging members to allow her boyfriend, Ethan Gleason, to attend the prom. He'll turn 22 before the event.

Perlotto already has a $400 prom dress, and she's facing a May 1 deadline to buy two, $70 tickets for the prom. She says she'll attend the prom either way.

"I understand the biggest worry may be alcohol but there are also so many different ways to prove that he would never do something like that," she said in a Facebook posting Tuesday urging people to write letters of support.

While the school board took no action Wednesday, School Superintendent Cheryl Kloczko agreed to meet with Gleason before making a final decision.

"I don't have concerns with the person," Kloczko told The Register Citizen newspaper. "I just have concerns with the age. We'd like to meet the gentleman."

Gleason, a college student at Branford Hall Career Institute, said he wouldn't risk his future by providing alcohol to minors.

"Don't just judge me because of my age," he said.

He and Perlotto work together at a local burger joint and have been dating for five months, the Republican-American reported.

While school officials acknowledge there is no official prom age policy, they say they're concerned about hosting a college student at a high school function.

Donna Perlotto said she has no problems with Gleason.

"He's very kind, considerate. I have no issues with him. He's a very respectable young man," Donna Perlotto said.

Elsewhere in the state, it was reported on Friday that high-school junior Maren Sanchez died after being stabbed for allegedly turning down a fellow student as a prom date, according to the Connecticut Post. An investigation is still pending in the case, which was reported shortly after 7a.m. on Friday morning at Jonathan Law high school in Milford, Conn. The New York Daily News reports that the school was placed on immediate lockdown and that students were sent home at 9a.m.

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