EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Mayfield High School students are set to return to in-person learning after Las Cruces Public Schools announced the campus would switch to online classes out of health concerns prompted by a “secret prom.”
The Monday announcement comes as state health officials say a “secret prom” a little more than a week ago put people’s lives at risk. School district officials found nearly 300 individuals had participated in a non-district sanctioned gathering at a private residence.
Students are being cleared to return to in-person classes on Thursday with guidance from the New Mexico Department of Health — seven days ahead of schedule. Las Cruces Public Schools previously said the students would be able to return April 26.
“This interruption has been a challenge,” interim superintendent Ralph Ramos of Las Cruces Public Schools said. “Our focus has always been on student and staff safety. To not act on the information we were given would have been irresponsible when you consider the potential impact it had on our campus populations.”
LCPS officials announced the school would switch to online learning after a complaint submitted to the New Mexico Governor’s claimed hundreds of students had attended a “secret prom,” a week ago.
A few days later, the state’s department of health announced had potentially put people’s lives at risk. And, that attempts to initiate other “secret proms” could lead to civil or criminal charges under state mandated health orders.
“This district has lost eight colleagues to the COVID-19 virus, and while tough decisions had to be made, we never know what dangers we’re preventing as a result,” Ramos said.
School district officials are in the middle of an investigation of the secret event and have found students from other schools gathered on April 10 but “no unsafe practices occurred.” Those students have been cleared to return to class, a news release states.