Parents of Forest Lake High School students were not impressed by the decision to cancel prom less than an hour before it was due to start.
Conditions were terrible, but the prom was still set to go ahead, with the Forest Lake Fire Department coming to the rescue for students by opening its fire hall for pre-prom pictures.
But in a post at 7:40 p.m. on Saturday, 50 minutes before prom was due to start, Forest Lake Area Schools confirmed that prom was canceled following "consultation with Washington County and the Forest Lake Police Department."
The response from parents might have been more understanding, had the school district not had the opportunity to cancel prom earlier in the day, as it became apparent southern Minnesota was in for a historic snowstorm.
But instead, the district said that prom would be moved from its original intended venue, St. Paul's Landmark Center, to the high school itself, but would nonetheless continue as scheduled.
The decision to cancel several hours later, after students had dressed for the occasion, was not kindly received judging by the response on Facebook.
"How terrible to wait until 45 minutes before it starts to cancel," Jessica Halbur wrote. "This should have been canceled well before these kids spend time and money to get ready. The weather has been bad all day. Another fail for Forest Lake."
"With all due respect, couldn’t this decision have been made earlier before students were AT THE SCHOOL....? Not to mention all of the money on hair, makeup, etc. that could have been saved for this later date?" McKenna Mollet wrote.
Some came to the school's defense however, saying it made the right call in difficult circumstances, given the variability in the forecasts for the north metro.
The prom will be rescheduled for later in the spring, the school district said.
Speaking to KSTP, Principal Jim Caldwell said the weather got worse faster than they anticipated, and he and staff stayed to make sure all students got safe rides home.
"We got caught in something that turned out to be much bigger and much worse than we thought it would and things like that happen," he told the TV station.