St. Francis schools bars student from prom for absences after father's killing

Saturday is prom night at St. Francis High School, but one senior won’t be out on the dance floor with her peers.

School officials have banned Brianna Baker from attending the event because of absences.

She was told that she couldn’t attend the prom after she tried to buy a ticket last week.

Her family says she is a good student who deserves a break. Her father was killed a few years ago, and her absences were for mental health wellness. 

She has the dress that she says makes her feel beautiful, but she likely won’t get to wear it because of her accumulated unexcused absences.

“It would be different if she were playing hooky and just ditching school, but she’s not,” said her mother Carrie Jungmann.

In total, Baker has missed about 10 days of school this year and may have been late to classes due to issues with mental health.

One way to make up for lost time is detention.

“I said that she’s not going to detention for seeking mental wellness and she’s not going to detention for being sick,” Jungmann said. “I think that’s fair.”

When she pressed the school and district leaders on the attendance policy, which is printed in the student handbook, they didn’t bend.

“It’s devastating,” Jungmann added. “For them to say that their policy stands, well, I think that their policy stinks.”

The school district issued a statement to FOX 9 that reads, in part, “It is the student’s responsibility to be in school, check their weekly attendance report and take corrective action.”

It goes on to say, “Students are given multiple opportunities to make up absences in order to be in good standing.”

Still, Baker was left stunned by the decision.

“I just don’t see why they would do this to somebody’s senior prom, whether it’s me or anybody else, it just seems a little ridiculous to me,” she said.

“It’s every girls’ chance to be Cinderella and telling her a couple days before prom that she can’t go…it’s heartbreaking,” Jungmann said.