Prom Shut-Outs: Dressed Up and No Place to Go

Sarah Heideman's dreams went up in smoke, literally, last weekend when she and her date were barred from entering their senior prom at Colorado's Brighton High School.

Her boyfriend of two years reeked of pot, and police refused to let him in to the dance. But Jason Schweinsberg, who is often wracked with pain because of injuries from a car accident, has a legal prescription for medical marijuana.

Now, Heideman, 18, has retained a lawyer and wants someone to pay for the $500 she had spent on her dress, dinner, hair and prom tickets.

"I was crying horribly and sometimes when I think of it, it still bring tears to my eyes," Heideman told "I got a peek in and all my friends were there and everyone was walking by the door and seeing me crying."

Heideman is just one of several disappointed students who have been shut out of the penultimate event of senior year -- the over-the-top prom, with its lavish tuxedos and gowns, private limousines and expensive dinner reservations.

Others students across the country report rules that bar older dates and even a Christian school policy that outlaws rock music and dancing.

Heideman says that as the couple entered Denver's Wings Over the Rockies Museum in Denver for the prom, a high school resource officer stopped the pair at the door.

Medical Marijuana Permit Ignored

Schweinsberg, who is 21 and works in construction, showed his permit issued by the state's medical marijuana program, but no one listened.

He may legally use the drug for morning headaches because of the fractured skull he suffered in a head-on collision when he was 16. Schweinsberg even let police search his car, where they found nothing but an unused pot pipe.

"I want to say I was traumatized because of the stereotypes people have," said Heideman, who is a stellar student, plays volleyball and is in the jazz band and hopes one day to marry Schweinsberg. "They wouldn't let me past the front door."

"Mostly, I want an apology for what I didn't get experience - to have my night," she told

When police called Heideman's parents, they explained the situation.

"I begged and pleaded: 'Just let the couple in and let them dance, and if they make one mistake, throw them out,'" said her mother, Joan Heideman. "' He's a medical marijuana person. He's not abusive or out of control like a drunk.'"

Prom Night Humilation

But school officials say having school resource officers, as well as administrators and faculty chaperones at events such as the prom are standard protocol.

"We have procedures for entering any dance on or off site, checking to make sure they don't bring inappropriate materials like drugs and alcohol," said Janet Wyatt, lawyer for Colorado's District 27J. "Every student is talked to for their safety and this is what happened in this case."

Wyatt also said that Heideman was allowed to enter the prom without her date.

"Sarah is a very, shy and quite reserved person," said her mother. "This is a once in a lifetime thing and now she can never have that memory. It was humiliating for Sarah, leaving her at the door with all the cops around."

Locked Out Because Dates Are 21

Meanwhile, in Virginia, Megan Lucas and Samantha Offenbacker, who are both 18, are fighting not be locked out of the May 16 prom. Their principal at Spotwood High School insists their dates violate school rules because they are over 21.

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