Peer leaders at Riverton High School help students with special needs celebrate prom night

Posted at 10:07 PM, May 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-17 00:07:17-04

RIVERTON, Utah -- For most high school students, prom is an annual rite of passage. But for students with special needs, prom night may not come at all. But thanks to a group from Riverton High School, students who attend a local school for those with special needs were treated to a night to remember.

Students from Riverton High School's peer-leadership team spent months preparing to make sure the students at Kauri Sue Hamilton School had a prom to remember.

“It’s amazing,” Riverton student Halli Bleak said.  “You know, it's really cool to be able to see these kids get a, kind of a classic high school experience at a prom, and it's just, it’s a really cool time.”

The Kauri Sue Hamilton School in the Jordan School District serves students with severe and multiple disabilities.

School officials said that having prom night is a dream come true for their students, and many of their parents.

“We've had parents say before, 'I never dreamed that my child would be able to attend a high school dance,’” said Rita Bouillon, the principal at Kauri Sue Hamilton School.

Students from Riverton and Kauri Sue danced the night away--some in wheelchairs and others just to the beat of their own drum.

Whatever their style, Riverton students said there's something special about the kids from Kauri Sue.

“These kids just make you feel so good,” Bleak said. “You know that they love you no matter what, and it’s a really, really fun experience.”

Boullion said this prom gives her students a chance to let loose and brings out some of the best in their personalities.

She said: “One teacher even commented, she said, ‘He looks so calm out there. He doesn't have any of his behaviors. He’s just so engaged with the music and the other students.”

Bouillon said Kauri Sue aims to prepare their students for life after high school, but added that it's nice they're able to have mainstream high school experiences before they graduate.