Waterloo, N.Y. – UPDATE: The Waterloo Central School District will allow Shawna Excell to attend her senior ball with her fiance who is in the Marines and deploying to Afghanistan.
The change will also allow two other students to bring dates who were not current or former students.
In a written statement, the superintendent said had they implemented the rules to protect Waterloo students.
We have yet to talk with him or the principal, though, to ask whether this amounts to a policy change or an exception.
Shawna Excell told 13WHAM Thursday afternoon, "I'm so happy...I'm really happy. I was so stressed out about this."
She said the principal invited her to sit down with her and her fiance Cody Stahl next week to talk about his decision.
In a statement, Superintendent Terry MacNabb said "While the media would lead one to believe that this situation is about our school district and our support for military personnel, this is not true. Just as our military is charged with protection of our nation, the District is charged with protecting all students."
MacNabb said the district respects the military and those who serve. He added that the district would immediately re-evaluate all requests by senior students who have sought permission to bring a guest who does not meet dance policy.
Shawna Excell told 13WHAM Wednesday that she didn't understand why the school district would not grant her special permission to bring Stahl to the ball.
“He’s going to be in Afghanistan for my graduation so this was going to be the last school event he’d be able to go to,” said Excell, 18.
Excell says last year the district allowed students to take any guest under 21 so long as they were pre-approved.
“I had no clue the rules had changed,” she said.
Superintendent MacNabb said students had been mailed a letter in August stating that pre-approved guests would be allowed only at the Junior Prom and Senior Ball. It says those guests must be enrolled at a high school or graduated from Waterloo High School in the last year.