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Prom Music Raises Concerns

BY GREG KOPETSKY, FEATURES EDITOR Students have been discussing prom music for the past two weeks, since Ms. Hara reportedly said at an after-school meeting for seniors and their parents that Go-Go would not be played “because it is not formal.”

Seniors Kristina Johnson and Patience Tait met with Hara shortly after hearing about the restrictions to the prom playlist. All parties agree that another type of music, Bachata, should be played. That’s what Hispanic kids requested to hear, and in an interview with the Beacon, Hara said, “a wider range of music would make the event more diverse.”

“I agree that they should be able to enjoy the music they listen to and have fun at prom. That’s fair,” Johnson said. “But what about the rest? And by the rest I don’t just mean the black kids because they are not the only race that listens to and enjoys Go-Go.”

Hara told Johnson and Tait that DCPS bans Go-Go at dances, who then decided to investigate this assertion. Calling DCPS officials and Principal Pete Cahall, they learned that Go-Go bands were restricted from being played at school events, while the music itself was permitted.

When Johnson and Tait returned to Hara with this new information, Hara told them she would “think about adding it to the list.”

So, will Go-Go music be played at Saturday’s prom? “It wasn’t an issue last year when we didn’t play it last year,” she said. When asked whether it would be played this year, she simply shrugged.

In a series of interviews, Hara repeatedly denied saying Go-Go would not be played because it “is not formal.” “All I said was that the prom was a formal event,” she said.

“Go-Go is a D.C.-cultured, traditional type of music,” Johnson said. “Go-Go is our Bachata because it’s a part of our culture. Go-Go is enjoyed by Blacks, Whites, Hispanics and Asians as well. It won’t be fair not to play one type of music, and and if her only reason is because its not ‘formal,’ well Juicy J, Beyonce, Drake…they’re not formal.”