Special Needs Students Experience Prom

Students in Josh Burton's special education classes helped raise money to be able to enjoy the prom experience.

April 14th is a night Michael Wilson, Demetric Evans, and D.J. Beal will never forget. For these two juniors and one senior, it was a chance to experience a high school right of passage, prom. Even the most reserved among them enjoyed the entire evening.

"They loved it. I have one kid that, anywhere you take him, maybe it's Special Olympics or wherever; when we get done, 'did you enjoy it?' 'No, no.' But when we got home from prom, or I took him back to his house, I asked him the same question. He was like 'yes, I did', so you could really tell they had a good time," said Josh Burton, special education teacher at Newton High School.

They raised $1,100 through a golf tournament and selling t-shirts to have the entire prom experience, from tuxes to dinner prior to prom.

Burton said he simply wanted his students to be able to experience prom just like all the other students.

"We heard an announcement over the intercom one day about prom," said Burton. "And I have one senior and two juniors, and I just thought they don't get to do the same things the regular ed kids get to do."

Burton hopes to make taking the kids to prom an annual event for his students who are juniors and seniors.

The students enjoyed the entire time at prom. So much so, it was difficult for them to pick just one thing they enjoyed most.

"My favorite part was I got to see everyone dance," said Michael, a senior.

"Everyone had a good time," said Demetric, a junior.

(reporter): "What did you do? Did you get on the dance floor? Did you just talk? What did you do?"

"Kind of talked," said D.J., a junior, who added he had a good time.

Burton wants to continue helping his kids go to prom, and hopefully, make the experience even bigger next year.

"We're going to do the same thing. We're going to make the golf tournament an annual thing. And we didn't have a big turnout," Burton said. "I think we had 9 or 10 teams is all, and I was expecting probably 15 or 20. Next year we're going to boost it up a little better and hopefully raise a lot more money, and maybe we can get that limo next year."