by Harry Wilmerding
Unvaccinated students who attended Exeter High School’s prom on Saturday were marked with numbers and contact traced throughout the course of the night, a school spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Students attending the event “who were unable to provide a vaccination card because they did not have or share a card or had not completed the full vaccination process had a number written on their hand,” an Exeter High School spokesperson told the DCNF. The school divided the dance floor into three sections and asked dancing students to stop periodically in between songs in order for them to “raise their hands to determine who they were around,” the spokesperson said.
The students were made aware of the contact tracing procedures beforehand, and were also told to provide vaccination information ahead of the event, the spokesperson said. Any personal information obtained for the event, including vaccination status, was destroyed, according to the spokesperson.
New Hampshire Republican state Rep. Melissa Litchfield alleged that the students were marked with sharpies, according to an anonymous constituent quote she posted saying “kids who weren’t vaccinated had a number written on them in Sharpie at the EHS prom last night.” The spokesperson did not confirm whether a sharpie was used to mark students, however.
Exeter High School Principal Mike Monahan said in a statement that he was aware of concerns that some students were “singled out and had their privacy violated” but added that this was not their objective. “We hope the community will understand that while no model is perfect, this model let the students enjoy a close to normal and highly desired experience to cap off their senior year.”
Monahan said that student and parent feedback to the event and its contact tracing procedures had been “extremely positive,” according to the statement.
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Harry Wilmerding is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.