Lakeside High turns school over to MTV reality show on promposals. Why did it say yes to the mess?

Lakeside High in DeKalb allowed a MTV reality show to film a promposal that involved more than 400 students as background.

Lakeside High School in DeKalb allowed an MTV reality show to film an elaborate prom invite — known as a promposal —  that involved using school time to gather the 400-member junior class, dance team, cheerleaders, drumline and basketball team in the gym so one effervescent junior could ask her longtime beau to the prom.

The Lakeside High episode that aired Sunday marked the premiere of the MTV  series “Promposal.” The 30-minute reality show traces ambitious Destini’s efforts to win approval of her elaborate promposal from Lakeside High School officials. It turns out to be remarkably easy, which is surprising given that Destini herself says the promposal will be “a huge deal…people are going to have to be out of class. There’s going to be a big commotion.”

The question: Why did Lakeside High say yes to the mess?

Oddly, the assistant principal’s greatest fear — at least as presented in the edited segment  — was whether Destini’s boyfriend Damon would accept the promposal, not whether parents would wonder about using this much time and energy for one kid to ask another to prom.

I don’t think some Lakeside High parents will appreciate the moment when a student asks, “How do you spell prom?” Keep in mind reality TV producers mine such moments and often script them. This is a staged reality show with almost no authentic dialogue, but the two kids are cute and photogenic. Destini describes herself and her date as the Beyonce and Jay Z of Lakeside.

Many school districts would have turned this program down simply on the issue of return. In general, reality TV and schools just don’t seem a good mix. There’s not a single moment in the episode that references Lakeside’s academic achievements, which are notable. I have asked DeKalb Schools for a comment about why it agreed and will share when I get it.

Here is the MTV promo for the Lakeside episode.

Reader Comments 0

37 comments
AtlantaMom7777
AtlantaMom7777

If this was a white school, this article wouldn't even exist! This writer is clearly racist. The show was super cute and was a great depiction of Lakeside High School. Wish they had picked my kids high school NAH. It was reality TV so people just need to know the editors control how the series airs. I'm sure there were a lot of approvals in order to even have the the pep rally etc. Plus every parent would have to agree to there child being aired on the episode so I guess the parents were ok with all of this! I just can't wrap my head around why this lady made it so negative. She had to have watched it multiple times in order to quote the students. I seen that ESPN was talking about it and they made it so positive! They showed the young man dunking so hopefully that gives him positive exposure. Good luck to Lakeside they had a rocky past and it appears that things are finally looking up! I also heard the new Principle and Vice Principle have put things back into perspective! Congratulations on the show and the new start! This writer should find a white school to degrade!

Babycat
Babycat

@AtlantaMom7777 Lakeside used to be a great school, academically and otherwise, now look where it is today.  Not even in the USA Today Top Schools.  This has no place in the High Schools, period.  The Principal and Vice Principal should be fired for allowing this spectacle.

Alley Kat
Alley Kat

My question to Maureen Downey, Is where were you when Lakeside had a racist Principle that was mistreating students? Why didn't you write a story then? You choose to write a story when Lakeside is showing there best side and students that actually love going to the school! So they choose to show their school on national television for good publicity after a few years of bad promo! Let me just tell you a little more about the students that you so blatantly choose to degrade Destini Hines is an A honor student because of the teachers and administrators of Lakeside! She will have her choice of any college in country next year! Damon play sports and have been offered scholarships by multiple universities even Harvard! So before you go on a rant as to why Lakeside and the district supported this 30 min pep rally because that's all it took you should consider maybe writing articles about the positive instead of over looking the negative racist Principle that you so easily overlooked for years maybe he was more relatable to you!

Babycat
Babycat

@Keisha Allen Keisha, first go back to English 101, secondly no mistreatment from previous principals (only problem was they were white and enforced the rules), and thirdly this makes Lakeside look awful.  This has no place in the schools!

AtlantaMom7777
AtlantaMom7777

@Babycat @Keisha Allen I understood Keisha perfectly! And sorry but the Principal was racist and was under investigation for sometime because of his racism. He actually told the black children they were his slaves and the school was his plantation! It's funny how white people conveniently overlook the bad behavior of other white people and try to defend them!

Alley Kat
Alley Kat

@Babycat @Keisha Allen English 101 firstly my phone auto corrected Principal! 2ndly that man was racist as hell! My Father is white by the way so I'm not biased nor amI racist! I state facts and the facts are he was terminated for being racist and having several complaints regarding his racist behavior! Maureen didn't write an articles about him!!!!! But degraded a harmless pep rally and children???? Babycat go find your Kittens and get your facts together. You probably don't even have children in high school. Get a life!

kaelyn
kaelyn

@KeishaAllen. I'm pretty sure Maureen did have a piece about the former Lakeside principal. The things he was accused of saying were horrible, and I'm glad he's no longer Lakeside's principal.

Congratulations to the young people featured in the episode who are both doing well in school. The issue was never with them personally, but with the fact that instruction time was lost for the benefit of an MTV reality show. In no way did Maureen degrade anyone. A lot of us old school folks long for the days when schools prioritized education over entertainment. No need to cry racism because someone doesn't agree with you.

Babycat
Babycat

@Alley Kat Keisha, why are you changing your name?   Is Destini an honor student  in  courses that count?  If so, why would she have so much time to arrange a so-called "reality" shot?

Alley Kat
Alley Kat

Maureen did not do a piece on the racism that the former Principal displayed at Lakeside and I assure you that instruction time was not interfered with while filming the show. The pep rally was only 30 mins as I previously stated! It may have appeared to be all day but that was not the case! And it was the last 30 mins of school. In my opinion had Maureen and @Babycat focused more on the horrible behavior of the last Principal instead of the school having a little positive lite shined upon it by doing a Promposal that the kids had a blast doing and that aired on MTV (a multi million dollar net work might I add, who don't need our tax money to support anything that they do!) we would certainly be in a better space. Academics were mentioned in a previous post and how Lakeside is doing so horrible in regards to academics so I made mention that both Destini and Damon are scholar students that are doing extremely well academically at Lakeside and who are expected to go to the college of their choosing next year! P.S every student that was involved did have parent consent. So why argue over something we as parents agreed too?

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

@Alley Kat I wrote about the Lakeside principal, whose quote, by the way, occurred in a conversation with staff, not students. As to the parent consent form, that has nothing to do with the issue here of allowing a reality TV show to come into your school and film something over which you have no control. Speaking of the legal consent form, parents essentially agreed that the production company had all rights to their child's image and could, in fact, resell or reuse the video. One parent who was an attorney from Lakeside told me he did not sign because of  the extensive rights accorded to the production company. In other words, that video could show up again in another context. Bottom line to me: Reality TV is a quagmire and public schools ought to think twice about exposing themselves and their students. As to promoting Lakeside High and DeKalb, I am not even sure DeKalb County was mentioned. The video sought to portray Lakeside as an Atlanta school. 

Babycat
Babycat

Apparently the new administration put into place by the so-called brain trust superintendent is allowing anything.  They say yes to all request.  They don't like the High School's on the Northside doing well.  DeKalb County schools have become the laughing stock of the entire state.

dsw2contributor
dsw2contributor

Two questiosn:

(1) Are "Promposals" a form of bullying? I think they are -- it is very difficult to say "no" when 400+ students are pressuring you to say yes -- but I'm willing to listen to anyone who wants to convince me they are not bullying..


(2) Could this be considered sexual harassment?   (Most workplace sexual harassment training says it is ok to ask a coworker for a date, but only if you ask the coworker privately.  Promposals are not done privately.)





Alley Kat
Alley Kat

What are you even talking about? These are kids and this is not work this is school a social environment where students learn to be expressive! This was Destini & her boyfriend she choose to do something nice for him! Your clearly miserable!

LHSMOM17
LHSMOM17

WHY IS THIS NEWS WORTHY?

Would you have reported this if it had occurred at any other Dekalb County School? PROBABLY NOT!!!

Parents signed consent forms for THEIR child to attend and the district gave its approval.  By the way,  Lakeside has TWO pep rallies each semester; students are released from class for those as well-is that news worthy?  I doubt very seriously that any students' grades suffered in anyway due to attending the MTV event.  Students missed more instructional time during EOC/GA Milestone testing than attending this event!

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

@LHSMOM17 How is that comparable? Tests are part of the academic program and kids clearly can't be in class when testing. I don't see your point.

no-comment
no-comment

Did you hear that noise?  That's the sound of private school buses filling to capacity, test scores dropping, and property values in Dekalb County cratering even more.  Between Dekalb County Principals and Assistant Principals not being able to even pronounce Academic Bowl questions correctly, stupid school board decisions about more school expansion in already overloaded neighborhoods, and taxpayer supported non-educational boondoggles like this that invite public embarrassment - our race to the bottom is nearly won.

Our district school board rep is Jim McMahan and he evidently will support anything that doesn't require critical thinking or work.  I hope he is proud of what Lakeside has become and will take responsibility for what his vote for expansion will do to it in the future.

We will definitely make sure and look for him in the next traffic choked parade as well as next year's election!


#EmbarrassDekalb

#NoMoreSplost

#Clueless

TaxiSmith
TaxiSmith

What utter nonsense. DeKalb and Georgia taxpayers are paying for THIS? Shameful.

Alley Kat
Alley Kat

Tax payers paid for nothing!!!! I pay $10,000 a year in taxes for this school district and I'm not complaining!

Alley Kat
Alley Kat

@Babycat @Keisha Allen You highly doubt what???? I pay $10k a year in taxes for this district and I have to lie why???? Send me your email and I'd happily send you a tax receipt!

AdamRich
AdamRich

Ashamed of my alma mater. I guess things have changed after 30 years.

youwantmetopay
youwantmetopay

MTV, ATL, reality show: How could it miss? The Facebook crowd will love it. The world sees us as perpetual highschoolers with lots of noise and drama. The only surprising part was Lakeside. I didn't know it was so  downscale.

gapeach101
gapeach101

I have to say, I looked at the previous post and was looking forward to reading the comments, then realized it had been open to facebook folks and didn't bother.  This topic seems much more appropriate for the facebook crowd than the other.

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

@gapeach101 I don't make the call. The AJC Facebook crowd -- unlike the contemplative folks on the AJC Get Schooled Facebook page -- post as if they are in a rumble. I wish I could always get the Get Schooled Facebook comments to appear, but I can't make that happen.



MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

@Starik @MaureenDowney @gapeach101 For the most part, Facebook comments stay on Facebook. In addition, Facebook readers can't read the story or the comments unless they are also subscribers. That is why a lot of the comments don't actually dig into the issue at hand. They are reacting to a headline. 

I take a lot of the Facebook stuff down from the blog -- I have taken about 30 comments down from the Handel/Ossoff education blog.

gapeach101
gapeach101

About a decade ago some reality TV show wanted to film a series about the fashion program at Grady HS.  After looking into it, realizing the show was looking for "drama", the school turned them down.  

kaelyn
kaelyn

AFTER school? No problem. During school? Absolutely not.

MaureenDowney
MaureenDowney moderator

@kaelyn I spoke to two parents today and that was their concern. I also think this ended up being used as the premiere episode of the MTV "Promposal" series because DeKalb allowed the event to involve 400 to 500 students. That served to affirm that this trend is a big deal because "Here is a school that pulled kids out of class for one couple."

I am not sure the school or any school ought to endorse these productions to the point that hundreds of kids are allowed to miss class.


kaelyn
kaelyn

My daughter watched it and I caught most of it while making dinner. It was made to look like the girl featured in the episode had complete control of the school. The school admins seemed to bow down to her every whim based on her popularity. A pep rally for one girl asking one boy to the prom? Very bad idea and even worse that it was televised.

Starik
Starik

DeKalb County schools.