A group of Georgia parents upset that COVID-19 scuttled a high school homecoming dance threw their own elaborate bash for 250 students — many of whom were photographed without masks, according to a report.
One parent of a teen at Ola High School in McDonough who attended the Nov. 14 soiree at a rented venue told the Daily Beast she and other parents planned the affair so their children wouldn’t miss out on a pivotal moment for young adults.
“It’s my daughter’s senior year, so I hosted a dance,” parent Beth Knight told the outlet. “It was terrific.”
Knight said she and other organizers sold more than 300 tickets, but 250 students showed up since “they were warned by teachers and coaches” not to go due to the threat of contracting or spreading the virus.
“The kids who came had fun,” she said.
Knight said she’s unaware of anyone who attended the dance who has since tested positive, some nine days later.
“Kids need to have normalcy to help with anxiety and depression,” she continued. “Don’t you agree?”
Knight claimed that liberals and Democrats “want to keep the virus agenda front and center,” while conservatives are ready to get back to their pre-pandemic lives.
“This whole virus plandemic scamdemic has totally ruined 2020,” Knight told the Beast. “The media [is] paralyzing people with fear so they will do mail-in ballots to rig an election. They succeeded in election fraud. The election is over. People need to stop bowing down to the virus. Forcing people to wear masks is a crime.”
Knight declined to detail any safety precautions taken at the dance, but two students who spoke on the condition of anonymity said they included a virus waiver with safety information, contactless temperature readings, hand sanitizers and optional masks.
Administrators at the school declined to return messages for comment Monday, but Henry County school district officials confirmed “school leaders did hear of the private, non-school affiliated party,” according to the report.
“This was a private party and in no way sanctioned/sponsored by the school or the school district,” the spokesman said. “Henry County Schools continues to adhere to the guidelines and protocols set forth by the CDC, Department of Public Health, and local medical professionals.”
At least two students at the high school have been infected with the virus, including one as recently as last week, the district spokesman said.
The students, who requested not to be identified, said at least 10 parent chaperones were at the dance.
“Obviously not everybody went, so I guess if somebody had a problem, they just didn’t go,” parent Tony Sargent, 48, of McDonough, told the Daily Beast.
As of Tuesday, Henry County had 7,349 confirmed coronavirus cases and 127 confirmed deaths, Georgia Department of Public Health data shows.
A spokeswoman for Georgia’s District 4 Public Health, which includes Henry County, said health officials are seeing an increase in virus cases “pretty much everywhere.”
“If you give it to the end of the week, we may be able to link some cases to this event,” spokeswoman Hayla Folden said. “We’re continuing to see higher numbers of cases in Henry County, but they also have the highest population in our district.”
Other neighboring schools are considering having similar parties for so-called “winter balls,” according to the two students who spoke anonymously.
“We all deserved a dance,” one said. “We’ve been trying to help them.”