Teen hoped to attend prom to honor date killed in rip current, school officials say she’s not allowed

— A tragic loss has turned into a prom controversy for the friend of a Wake Forest teen who drowned at an Emerald Isle beach last week.

Emilie Boyd was prepared to go to the Wake Forest High School prom with Ian Lewis until he and his 17-year-old friend, Paige Merical, were caught in a rip current, killing Lewis and leaving Merical brain dead.

Boyd, a junior at Rolesville High School, had planned to still attend the Wake Forest High School prom Saturday to honor Lewis, but the school said she won’t be allowed.

Lewis had just done something he’d done a lot of in nine years of playing soccer- score- when he asked Boyd to go to prom with him.

“He actually scored three consecutive shots in the game and asked her out to prom once he scored his third shot,” Lewis’ teammate, Gray McCollough, said.

Boyd wanted to use the prom tickets, which were in Lewis’s name, to attend the event to honor his memory, but the Wake Forest High School principal and district leaders said she would not be allowed.

The decision set off a furor on the Wake Forest Community Information page on Facebook.

“She just lost her best friend and prom date, and this is what you do?” one person posted.

Others called the decision “wrong, ridiculous and pathetic.”

Hundreds of comments poured in, including one from Boyd’s mother, Jessica Boyd, saying the decision was left to the Wake Forest principal and “at this time, we are choosing not to fight with the school.” She goes on to say that “Emilie will celebrate Ian in another way that evening, and she looks forward to attending her own prom soon.”

The Wake County Public School System’s chief of communications, Tim Simmons, said, “This has been a difficult and emotional week for many Wake Forest High School students and staff. Our hearts go out to the families of Ian and Paige and those who are grieving. Several memorials and vigils have been held and more are planned. After speaking yesterday with many who are directly involved, we decided a high school prom would not be an appropriate setting to memorialize a student.”

As the Wake Forest prom goes on, Lewis’ family will have a visitation Saturday before his funeral Sunday afternoon at Binkley Chapel.

Merical’s family also plans to remove her from life support on Saturday to donate her organs.

Published at Sat, 27 Apr 2019 02:30:38 +0000

Source: https://www.wral.com/teen-hoped-to-attend-prom-to-honor-date-killed-in-rip-current-school-officials-say-she-s-not-allowed/18350778/