Just because Ashley Hamblin has cerebral palsy doesn't mean she is different from any of her peers, especially when it comes to her desire to attend her school's prom. This high school senior is more than looking forward to this special event — she bought her gown, secured her date, and completed her hair and makeup trials. However, the one thing her school won't allow her to do is a buy a ticket to the big night.
Ashley is in a wheelchair, and due to her health challenges, the Tennessee teen is now enrolled in her school's homebound program. Although she no longer attends classes with her friends, she still sees them at various events and anticipated attending Cheatham County Central High School's prom with them.
Unfortunately, when the high school senior went to purchase her tickets, she learned that because she is part of the school district's program for students who are too sick or injured to attend school, she is not allowed to attend the dance. "I went to go buy the tickets and they told me it was illegal," Ashley told WFSB.
Cheatham County Schools responded with a statement to Channel 4 explaining that Ashley was aware of this policy before enrolling in the program. They claim that she was told at the start of their year that "the student placed on homebound should not return to his/her school, or any other Cheatham County School for any reason, including extracurricular activities (i.e. ballgames/sporting events, proms, banquets, dances, etc.)."
Although the reasoning behind these guidelines is that if a doctor has advised that Ashley is too sick to attend school, then she isn't healthy enough to be at these events, Ashley just wanted a night to feel like every other high school girl. "I would love to experience what all girls dream of — the dresses, the hair," Ashley told Fox17. "What most people don't understand is that I'm not on this by choice."