Posted 10:40 PM 5/12/2012 : Prom chaperones spray kids with Lysol, call names for 'dirty dancing'
Two Manitou Springs moms are charged with harassment after high school students say prom chaperones sprayed them with Lysol and called them names for dirty dancing.
Jennifer Farmer and Hannah Rockey were arrested, telling police they acted out when kids were "dancing like they were having sex with clothes on...similar to what you would see on MTV" according to police reports.
Prom-goers say the chaperones took things too far. "Some girls got sprayed with Lysol and they were being called whores and sluts and just the same thing over and over. It makes the girls feel horrible about themselves. And they're parents too which is... I just think its wrong" Zoe Barlow, a student at Manitou Springs High School told News 5.
Another student, Jason Downs, said the use of chemicals against the teens was dangerous and out of line. "Their eyes were super red, like burning because its Lysol! And they left the prom. Kids got it in their mouths." Downs said he never expected this type of behavior out of adults. "The chaperone that was spraying kids was my kindergarten math teacher," he said. "It's a bunch of 18-year-old seniors, we're not harming anyone we're just dancing and they turned it into a big deal and made a lot of problems."
Victims parents are outraged; one dad is even pressing charges. "The Lysol, or whatever it was they had, I think it was premeditated that they had it there for a certain reason," Cory Archuleta said in an interview. His daughter is one of at least 7 students who reported the incident.
One chaperone's attorney denies everything, saying Hannah Rockey never sprayed Lysol and never broke the law. Joshua McDowell, her lawyer, stated "Ms. Rockey was at the Manitou Springs prom as an authorized chaperone. Her intent that evening was to keep the dance a safe and fun environment for all the students. As some students danced in an improper fashion, my client encouraged them to dance in a more appropriate manner. Neither Ms. Rockey, nor any other chaperones sprayed Lysol or any other cleaning products. Nothing my client did that evening was in violation of the law."
Seniors say their prom was ruined and they want a refund. "When everyone left people were asking for their money back, people were pissed," Downs said today.
But victims parents say it's not a refund that they want. "I don't blame the school district, I don't think they should have to chaperone the adults. I just hope they're held accountable for what they did and we'll see what happens in court." Archuleta told News 5.
Jennifer Farmer, a former school board member, has a court date on June 29th. Hannah Rockey is scheduled to appear in court July 10th. The Manitou Springs School District superintendent released a statement saying "The alleged actions by parent chaperones during the high school prom are in no way condoned by the school district...As an outcome of this incident, the district is taking steps to instruct parent volunteers on the proper protocol for chaperoning events."