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LCPS says there were other proms besides Mayfield’s ‘secret prom’ – but those followed safety rules

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- This month's "secret prom" with mostly Mayfield High School students wasn't the only large event that weekend, there were other prom-style gatherings, according to Las Cruces Public Schools.

"We actively investigated other gatherings on April 10 based on information we received from students who attended the MHS event," Kelly Jameson, a school spokeswoman confirmed to ABC-7 on Monday.

She could not confirm whether those investigations had reached completion yet, but she said the other events were "following Covid-safe protocols outlined by NMDOH (New Mexico Department of Health)."

One prom that was deemed "safe" was an event at a private business in south Las Cruces with about 50 kids that same day. The district's investigation found there were masks and that that the event met capacity restrictions for the building.

"I think what happened is the district lumped all of these events together as one," said Kerry Vistine, whose children attended the south Las Cruces event. She said her children felt they were punished.

Vistine shared photos with ABC-7 showing her daughter in an isolation room. She said the the district then sent her kids home to quarantine.

"They came home devastated," Vistine said. "They were both crying… they felt like they were being punished for something that was a Covid-safe event."

The Oñate High mother brought state lawmakers to the district office and ultimately convinced district staffers to allow her students to return.

"I don't believe it's LCPS's job to determine every event that happens over the weekend (is safe) when they're not inside of school," Vistine explained.

"That's really not the district's priority," agreed Jameson. "We don't want to be in the business of playing after-school police."

As ABC-7 reported, the district closed the Mayfield High campus for ten days following their investigation into a "secret prom" on April 10. District officials worried that the hundreds of students who reportedly attended the event would further spread Covid-19 in the Las Cruces community.

"This is not a punitive decision to penalize any kid," interim superintendent Ralph Ramos told ABC-7 last week. "This is about the safety of our schools."

The school district is actively monitoring the positive Covid-19 cases at each individual school in Las Cruces. Parents, teachers and students can track them on the district's dashboard.

There have been 11 confirmed cases in the past week in the district's buildings, to include elementary, middle and high schools, according to that data.

New Mexico / News / Top Stories / Video

Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend evening newscasts.

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