Two Long Island high schools that canceled their senior proms after years of burgeoning excess that included limos and weekend house rentals in the Hamptons announced a cut-rate compromise Tuesday that will involve bus rides and other more modest arrangements. Instead of hiring chauffeurs, students will takes buses to a Manhattan pier for a dinner cruise. Instead of tuxedos and fancy ball gowns, the dress code will be jackets and ties for boys and dresses for girls. The cost is expected to be about $100 per student -- a fraction of the cost of the wild parties of the past.
Principal Kenneth M. Hoagland sparked a national debate about the ostentatiousness and debauchery that accompany many senior proms when he said last fall that his school would no longer sponsor a prom. Hoagland sent a 2,000-word letter last fall to Kellenberg students and parents, decrying the "bacchanalian aspects" of that schools prom.