Miss America is now making a personal plea to a Pennsylvania high school after it suspended a senior student for publicly asking her to prom, against the stated wishes of the school.
Beauty queen Nina Davuluri issued a statement on Miss America’s Facebook page Saturday, stating:
“On Thursday, a student invited me to prom and gave me a flower while I was giving a presentation in York, Pennsylvania.
“I was flattered by the gesture although I am unfortunately unable to attend due to my travel schedule. I later learned of the disciplinary action taken and reached out to the school in hopes that they will reconsider their decision.
“Meeting and interacting with students across the country has been an important and rewarding part of my year as Miss America. I always encourage students to follow their dreams through education, and I’m inspired daily by the enthusiasm and aspirations of the bright young adults I have the pleasure of meeting through my travels.”
Patrick Farves, 18, is the student who gained national attention with his invitation to Davuluri at Central York High School.
Officials on campus gave the teen a three-day in-school suspension, requiring him to sit in a classroom and work alone.
The York Dispatch reported Farves’ proposal “started as a joke a few days before Davuluri showed up at the high school, when Farves suggested he’d pop the question during the assembly. His classmates firmly approved, and it spread like ‘wildfire’ around the school, he said. And the more he thought about it, the more he needed to ask.”
Davuluri was speaking at the school to promote diversity.
But a monkey wrench was thrown into his plans when a school administrator called Farves to the office 10 minutes before the assembly and said it would be “inappropriate” to ask the question.
Undaunted, Farves saw his opportunity when there was a gap between pre-screened students during the question-and-answer portion.
“I already had a little flower,” he told the paper. “I was completely set on doing this.”
Watch Patrick Farves ask out Miss America to his prom:
When he asked Davuluri to the prom, loud cheering from the crowd of students kept Miss America from answering. When he asked to take a selfie with her, she replied with a diplomatic "Maybe later."
"I never actually got that (selfie) because I never saw her again," Farves said.
As far as the answer to his question, the teen added, "For the sake of my ego, I'm going to say no, I never got a direct answer."
The Central York School District has been taking heat for suspending Farves, and it issued its own statement on Friday in response to the publicity:
It is not our practice to discipline a student for asking someone – even Miss America – to a school dance. However, it is our practice to set expectations for student behavior, to communicate those expectations and rules to students and families and to ensure those rules are followed within our schools. This practice is not uncommon and happens every day, multiple times a day, in schools, businesses and homes across America.
Let's take the rules of parents, for example. If I tell my child to be home by 10PM, and my husband tells our child to be home at 10PM, what do we do if our child defies us and returns home at midnight? As parents, we would be remiss not to give an appropriate consequence to our child for deliberately defying us so that our child understands that our rules should be followed and respected. Schools must operate in the same way.
Yesterday's event was a wonderful experience for our students and a once in a lifetime opportunity for our district, and it is a shame that the media wants to frame this story to sell papers and make headlines using a distortion of what actually occurred.
Farves is receiving plenty of backing on the Miss America Facebook page.
- "Oh come on. People need to lighten up. This kid obviously views you as a celebrity and took a chance! I think kids should be encouraged to be brave like that. There's nothing inappropriate or disruptive about it. (Jessica Bryant)
- "I don't think the school had the right to tell him who he could ask to prom, it's really none of their business." (Rebecca Reed)
- "He shouldn't have done it because he was told not to? No. This is the USA. He had every right to speak out and ask that question. Freedom of speech is one of our inalienable rights as U.S. citizens. The school had no place to tell him not to ask. I'm absolutely positive there's no 'rule' or 'policy' that specifically states that you can't ask Miss America to prom. If it was a female student who had asked, no action would have been taken, because the school would be worried about being viewed as homophobic. If Miss America had said yes, no action would have been taken, because they would've gotten even worse press coverage than they've already had. They need to get over it, and as I saw in another comment, stop 'flexing their power muscle." (Robert Mossburg)
- "He asked her to prom, not to lay down with him, this is ridiculous and the administration is ridiculous." (Crystal Pieper)