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Queens high school student says NYC requiring vaccine to attend prom is unfair double standard

Some students, parents upset by vaccine mandate for school proms in NYC 02:04

NEW YORK -- Some parents and lawmakers are urging the city schools chancellor to drop the vaccine mandate for upcoming proms.

It's a requirement for many extracurricular activities in schools. But as CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reported Tuesday, some students say it's a double standard.

READ MOREMunicipal workers demand NYC end what they call double standard and lift vaccine mandate

Candice Horan had her prom dress picked out until there was an announcement at John Bowne High School in Flushing. She's not vaccinated.

"They said you had to be vaccinated to go to prom," Horan said. "My school doesn't require masks. My school doesn't require you to be vaccinated to go. So I don't understand why you need to be vaccinated to go to my senior prom."

Her grandmother thinks it's wrong to hold kids to a different standard.

"Restaurants, anybody can go to. Venues are open for weddings and parties. So why are they picking on the kids?" Kathleen Horan said.

"If the kids are on top of each other in the hallway, why can't they be on top of each other on a dance floor," said John Horan, the student's father.

Some elected officials agree. In a letter, they urged the schools chancellor to consider "a milestone event that students have been forced to miss for the past two years."

After Mayor Eric Adams rolled back vaccine mandates for professional athletes and performers, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis and others wrote, "City officials cannot turn a blind eye toward our youth while picking and choosing who vaccine mandates apply to."

READ MOREBacklash continues after Mayor Eric Adams lifts vaccine mandate for professional athletes and performers

A spokesman for the city Department of Education told CBS2, "We continue to monitor COVID-19 rates and make changes in coordination with public health officials. We deeply understand how top of mind this topic is for many young people, and we encourage everyone to get vaccinated to help our city return to normal."

"I don't want to put something in my body," Candice Horan said.

"She's old enough to make a decision like that," Kathleen Horan added.

Others told CBS2 they believe the mandate is wise.

"There is going to be a lot of people there, and I feel like since masks are going to be down, people are going to be sharing stuff. I think people should be vaccinated," high school junior Brianna Marie said.

"Them having the vaccine makes it safe for everyone," said junior Anastasia Volney.

The Horans say it's only fair to make the decision now, because, with dresses to buy, fittings to be had and transportation to be booked, prom season is upon us.

The state Department of Health said while it does not have a statewide vaccine requirement for local school prom attendance, it "continues to strongly urge all eligible New Yorkers, including children and adolescents, to get fully vaccinated and to stay up-to-date with all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses."

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