Leukaemia girl will attend the ball

editorial image

A teenager who believed she was banned from her school prom due to low attendance while battling cancer will now attend the ball – and is guaranteed to do it in style.

Thousands of online supporters rallied to support Emily Bennett, 16, after Springwell Community College, in Staveley, allegedly said she was not allowed to attend her Year 11 prom.

Her family took to Facebook to slam the school on Wednesday, and a petition was then launched online to get Emily to the prom.

The petition was signed by 7,820 people in total.

But Emily and mum Andrea met with headteacher Ian Wingfield yesterday (Thurs) – and now accept the school’s explanation that the whole ordeal was just a communication breakdown.

Andrea, of Markham Road, Duckmanton, said: “The meeting went really well. Emily is now going to the prom – and she is so happy.

“The school said it had been a complete lack of communication, which they apologised for, and we accept the explanation and apology.”

Mr Wingfield said: “Before yesterday we were not aware that Emily wished to attend the prom and we are sorry if there has been some confusion.”

Andrea said the confusion had arisen because Emily was not at school on the day the letters were sent out.

She said: “Emily was told that she could attend the prom if she had four full week’s attendance, which she did, but then nothing else was said and she never got an invite.”

As a result, the family thought Emily had been intentionally shunned by the school.

Emily, who battled leukaemia for three years but is now in remission, had been forced to take time off due to the side effects of drugs she is still prescribed.

A delighted Emily said: “I’m so excited that I’m going to the prom, I can’t wait.

“The support from everyone online has been overwhelming, and I just want to say thank you to everybody who wrote such kind words.”

She added: “My friends are really happy too, because they thought I deserved to go. When I said that I’d got an invite, they said ‘take it’.

“Mum and I are going to look for some dresses now.”

In the wake of the huge social media response, Emily has been offered escorts to the prom from limousine companies, biker groups, and many more – guaranteeing she will attend the ball in style.