SPANISH FORK, Utah (ABC4) – You’ve probably heard the term “second chance prom,” but what about a second chance homecoming?
Well, that’s exactly what students at a Spanish Fork charter school are getting Saturday night.
Katina Stephens is an alum of American Leadership Academy and runs a makeup business in Spanish Fork. Her business is one of the many stepping up to put on this “Homecoming 2.0.”
She says she wanted to do something to lift the spirits of students who felt let down, while making sure her alma mater was shown in a positive light.
What was supposed to be a special evening for a group of high school students at their homecoming dance turned into what could be called an emotionally traumatizing experience.
But nearly two weeks later, those students will get the homecoming experience they were hoping for in the first place.
The “make-up dance” is being spearheaded by Katina Stephens, who says planning the event started with a conversation with the school’s homecoming queen.
“She added to me to a group chat with some other parents and it kind of snowballed from there,” says Stephens.
Her company, “Makeup by Katina,” was able to foot the bill to secure a venue, date and time at Emerald Eve Event Center in Salem.
Stephens says several parents also chipped in to help, as well as a local DJ and photographer offering up their services.
Students claim the administration turned away over 60 girls from their homecoming dance on September 24th because of dress code violations.
Days after the incident, amid controversy, the school released a statement saying that after they reviewed footage from the event, around 14 girls had been turned away.
Stephens believes this may have arisen from a simple misunderstanding of what the dress code rules are.
“It would really be a smart move for students and administration to come together and lay out a very clear understanding of what is and isn’t acceptable,” Stephens says.
In our previous report, American Leadership Academy officials say students attending the dance knew dress code requirements prior to purchasing their tickets.
However, the school did offer an apology to those students who may have felt embarrassed or humiliated.
Senior Isabella Irvine, who attended the dance but was later asked to leave, spoke to ABC4 after the incident, saying, “It’s embarrassing, I was like ‘why am I being asked to leave right now when I paid to be here? You let me in first so why is a problem there later?”
Stephens says her hope is this make-up dance will serve as a way to lift the spirits of the students at her former school: “I want all of the students there to know they are beautiful; they have nothing to be ashamed of and don’t let anyone else dull your shine.”
ABC4 reached out to American Leadership Academy for an updated response but didn’t hear back.
Stephens is under the impression that the school is somewhat supportive of the make-up dance, and says they expect about 200 students to attend.