Cute eh? Sonali thought so and said YES! What did the school do? Suspended him from school and banned him from prom on a technicality that anyone suspended after April can’t go. The school cited that it was dangerous and constituted trespassing.
In case you’re wondering how he could possibly be suspended for that, to be clear, it’s made out of card and he stuck it on with double sided paper. He wore a hard hat when he climbed a ladder to put the letters up and was on public property when he did it. He even had a friend stand at the bottom of the ladder to stop it tipping it over! His friends started complaining and organised a sit in demanding that Tate be allowed to go to prom.
You can probably guess what happened next… the story went viral. Millions of people around the world started paying attention and before long he got serious media attention. He appeared on Jimmy Kimmel and the Today show and has even been talked about on the New York Times blog. You should check out this video of him on Jimmy Kimmel. In part 2 Sonali comes and you can’t deny they’re quite a cute couple.
The hashtag #TeamTate started trending and the “Let James Tate go to the prom” Facebook page now has 200,000 members. Amusingly, the school superintendents office say they’ve had 18,000 calls in the past week about him.
Who’s to blame for this whole debacle? Personally, we think that a suspension for what he did is ridiculous so it has to be the Head Mistress, Dr Beth Smith who’s coming down on Tate just about as hard as she can.
Yesterday she gave an official statement that was meant to be the definitive “no” to the question of whether the school would change her mind. The reason seems to be, we told you what would happen and it’s within our powers to tough luck. Check it out for yourself here:
If you fancy lending your support to James, there’s a petition online at www.change.org which you can sign to lend your support. Facebook is buzzing that there’s going to be another press conference given by the school this afternoon so our guess is that they’re going to let him go. Fingers crossed!