(CNN) — Eufaula High School senior Bryce Maine celebrated turning 18 by making a very sweet request — he asked his grandmother to prom.
They made arrangements and she even bought a dress — but then the school said no.
“She’s never been to a prom so I figured, ‘Why not take her?'” Maine said. “Every woman deserves to go to a prom, no matter how old you are.”
Maine’s cousin, Sarah Catherine, said in a Facebook post she believes there was concern that allowing Maine’s grandmother to attend prom would prompt students to “make the school a mockery” by inviting their grandparents as a joke.
It is a Eufaula High School policy that prom attendees must be 20 years old or younger. According to Maine, the school told him he could not bring his grandmother to prom because she could potentially bring and distribute alcohol to underage students. “I’m heartbroken,” Maine told CNN affiliate WTVM.
Supporters have taken to social media to express their frustration using the hashtag #LetNannyGoToProm.
“We’re happy that people see it through our eyes,” Maine said.
Even if he is not allowed to bring his grandmother to prom, they still plan to have a night out together, Maine said. “She’ll wear her gown and I’ll put on my tuxedo and we will get all dressed up, go out to a fancy meal, and have our own prom.”
Maine’s father plans to meet with school officials Monday.
“Safety of students and staff is the first and most important of the many tasks of a school administrator,” Steve Hawkins, principal of Eufaula City Schools, told WTVM.
“For the 10 years I have been high school principal, we have denied requests each year from students asking to bring older dates to prom. We do not chance leaving any stone unturned when it comes to safety. Most high schools have an age limit for prom attendees.”