FL high school gets backlash after kicking out grieving mom who took daughter’s place at prom

A grieving Florida mom’s attempt to ‘live her daughter’s dream’ by attending her school’s graduation prom has ended in disaster after the school’s request for her to leave the ballroom led to a backlash from the local community.

Noricia Talabert, 17, was killed last October after being trapped in gang crossfire. An academic achiever, she had been looking forward to saying goodbye to South Dade Senior High School and going to college.

So when State Rep. Kionne McGhee asked her mom, Regina Talabert, to the prom just hours before it was to start Friday, she seized the chance – not expecting the fallout that would follow.


Devastated: Talabert's daughter was caught in the crossfire of gang violence. The school asked McGhee to take her from the ballroom to an area reserved for parents, as per the school's prom policy 

At first everything seemed to go wonderfully, the Miami Herald reported: McGhee said he’d cleared the prom date with the school, and Talabert donned the beautiful necklace Noricia wore in her graduation photo.

As the pair entered the vestibule outside the ballroom, assistant principal J.C. DeArmas – a friend of Talabert’s – gave her a hug and kissed the photo of Noricia that she had brought along.

Then they entered the ballroom. Talabert happily danced with McGhee and chatted with her daughter’s former classmates, unaware of the trouble brewing.

That night Talabert’s friend, anti-gun activist Tangela Sears, posted up photos of the couple with the message: ‘[Miami-Dade County Public Schools] asked them to leave the Prom. Yes, they put them out. Shame on You MDCPS.’

She added: ‘To experience this on the weekend of Mothers’ Day is Embarrassing, Painful for this Mom and Totally Disrespectful to our State Rep.’

The request for them to leave had been made by the school to McGhee, so Talabert had no idea until she read the post Saturday morning – and was devastated.

‘It really hurts me to know they wanted us to leave,’ Talabert told the Miami Herald. ‘We weren’t causing any problems.’

She added: ‘I don’t see why it should be a problem for me to live out her dreams. That’s all I have, is her memories.’

Her feelings were echoed by the hundreds who commented on Spears’ Facebook post.

One said, ‘Not surprising when it comes to the school board. They don’t care about our children.’

Another said, ‘There’s more policy and procedures in the DCPS than there is compassion.’

 In charge: DeArmas (pictured left) and Talabert are friends, but he said she had to leave the ballroom due to prom policy. He told McGhee, so Talabert only found out the next day when she saw her friend's post

J.C. DeArmas, who has been the acting principal since the current principal was injured in a car crash on April 29, said that the call to ask them to leave came from him alone, not the MDCPS.

He said McGhee had tried to blame people higher up the chain of command, but took full responsibility.

He also said that he never got a call from McGhee’s office to clear the visit, and that he didn’t know Talabert and McGhee were going to go into the ballroom with the kids.

‘There’s a rule – parents don’t come into the ballroom,’ he told the paper.

He said he’d let them continue dancing there out of respect for Talabert until McGhee asked the DJ to give her a shout-out, breaking the South Dade prom’s ‘no shout-outs’ policy. DeArmas said that’s when he asked McGhee to take Talabert out.

He said he saw them in the ballroom again about an hour later, and asked them to leave again so that Talabert wouldn’t be upset at seeing the new Prom Queen crowned shortly afterward.

The acting principal added that he was hurt by comments that the school didn’t care about parents.

‘People are saying we have no heart, we don’t care and that’s a problem,’ he said. ‘To work in these schools you have to have heart. You have to love what you do, otherwise why would you do it?’

But Sears said DeArmas’s decisions contradicted a previous decision in 2013, Miami Heat star Dwayne Wade was invited to prom, and made a guest appearance for around 45 minutes.

‘Everybody thought that was a great thing,’ Sears said.

Source: The DailyMail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

scroll to top