My prom date was 16. His was 41.
A Condon High School track coach has been removed from her position as coach after she escorted a student to the prom. 41-year-old Melissa Bowerman, daughter in law of Nike Co-Founder Bill Bowerman, said that the student told her of the trouble he had finding a date.
Bowerman told the AP that she offered to take him to the prom in order to encourage him to improve his grades in his English class:
"If they go on [academic] probation and suspension, then they can't go to the track meets," Melissa Bowerman told the AP. "I said, 'OK, I will go with you, but we've got to talk about English first. You're going to do better in English.'"
Bowerman insisted that she and her date only danced to "a couple" of slow songs and spent the rest of the evening playing ping pong and foosball. The student's father also said he was OK with the coach escorting his son because, "Melissa has been like a surrogate mom to these kids for years."
The coach genuinely wanted to help the student, and did so in multiple ways. There was no inappropriate relationship, and if there was, do you really think that they would risk being discovered by going to the prom together? No way.
We live in a time where you see news stories all the time about teachers who have inappropriate relationships with students. But in this case, I fail to see what the coach did wrong, and I'm left asking the question: What's the big deal?