Miss America asks school to reconsider decision to suspend student

Written by PTI | New York | Updated: Apr 22 2014, 01:50am hrs
Indian-American Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri has asked a school in Pennsylvania to reconsider its decision to suspend an 18-year-old student who had asked her to be his date for the prom night when the beauty queen had visited the school for a lecture.

Patrick Farves had asked Davuluri to the annual end of the year dance and gave her a plastic flower when she was speaking to students at the school's auditorium last week. At the end of a question and answer session, Farves rose and asked Davuluri, 24, if she would be his date at prom.

Davuluri laughed and Farves ran up to the stage, handing her a plastic flower he had bought for her and asked her to take a selfie with him.

Davuluri replied "Maybe later" and Farves cheered as he walked back from the stage. The school however did not take the prank lightly and suspended Farves for three days, saying the student had "deliberately" defied school administrators, who had requested him that he not ask Davuluri the question after they learned of the planned stunt.

In a message posted on the Miss America Organisation's Facebook Page, Davuluri said she has "reached out to the school in hopes that they will reconsider their decision" when she learnt of the disciplinary action taken against the student.

She said she was "flattered" by Farves's gesture but said "unfortunately" she would not be able to attend the prom with him due to her travel schedule.

"Meeting and interacting with students across the country has been an important and rewarding part of my year as Miss America. I always encourage students to follow their dreams through education, and I'm inspired daily by the enthusiasm and aspirations of the bright young adults I have the pleasure of meeting through my travels," she said in the message.

In suspending Farves, his school said "It is not our practice to discipline a student for asking someone - even Miss America - to a school dance. However, it is our practice to set expectations for student behavior, to communicate those expectations and rules to students and families and to ensure those rules are followed within our schools. This practice is not uncommon and happens every day, multiple times a day, in schools, businesses and homes across America."

Farves had told the local York Dispatch that he was pretty much set "to ask Davuluri the question even though he had been asked by his school not to behave in such a manner.

"I was a little pressured. Everybody expected me to do it. I'm the kind of person who, if someone says I won't do something, I'll prove people wrong. I will."

Farves later apologised, writing a letter to the district's assistant superintendent that he was sorry for the commotion.

"I do understand why the administration was mad," he told the Dispatch. "I don't want to be the kind of person to try to justify myself ... I didn't intend to disrespect the administration. I can see how it was seen as a slap in the face."