Smile Politely

UPDATED: Maybe next week’s “prom” event isn’t a great idea

UPDATE, 5:11 p.m.: Per an announcement on their Facebook page, the organizers have cancelled the event.

Original Post:

After last month’s “unofficial prom” debacle, it seems like any sort of prom type event should be discouraged, especially those that are inviting a lot of people into an indoor space.

On Tuesday, M2-The Place for Prom is planning to host such an event at Cityview in Champaign. The event has been planned with guidance from Champaign-Urbana Public Health and plans to follow Phase 4 guidance for gatherings, so is definitely not that same as a not-so-secret invite only soirée in a basement where no precautions are being taken. They’ve even posted this cute video to their Facebook page to illustrate all of the steps they are taking to try to hold a safe event, including encouraging social distancing and mask wearing. 

However, it’s hard to imagine these good intentions playing out in reality. Young people gravitate towards each other. It’s doubtful the masks are going to stay on the entire time. Temperature checks are fine, but doesn’t really do much determine who might be asymptomatic. 

As the parent of teens I’m heartbroken over missed events and rites-of-passage during this season, but it just feels like we’re trying so hard to push the line on what we can do, without stepping back to think about whether we should do it. 

Yes, we are becoming perpetual wet blankets over here at Smile Politely, but it’s all in the name of care for the safety and well-being of our community. 

Photo from

Staff writer

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