It began as a simple gesture. Shelton High School senior James Tate just wanted to make his good friend, Sonali Rodrigues, feel special.
So instead of the usual way of asking her to the senior prom, Tate and two friends went to the high school campus in the middle of the night and posted 12-inch tall, cardboard letters on the outside of the building -- at the main entrance.
The message that many saw when they arrived to school Friday, read: "Sonali Rodrigues, Will you go to prom with me? HMU Tate."
She said yes.
"It took a lot of effort," said Tate.
He posted the letters, one at a time, in a "safe and thoughtful way" to avoid trouble.
But, it appears, that didn't work out.
Because of what he did, Tate can't go to the prom.
Tuesday, after meeting with his headmaster, Tate and his two friends were each given one-day, in-house suspensions and banned from the prom. Tate was told the administration felt what they did was a safety risk...
He was told another reason for the suspensions was that they trespassed on school grounds.
Update: Bad press is the sunlight that makes the cockroaches scurry away:
A Connecticut teenager who has been barred from attending his senior prom after posting an oversize message to the front of his high school should be allowed to attend the dance, the town's mayor told FoxNews.com.
Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti said he's unsure that the "punishment fits the crime" for James Tate, an 18-year-old senior at Shelton High School who, along with two friends, posted 12-inch tall cardboard letters outside the school’s main entrance last Thursday night so students would see the message in the morning.
The letters read: "Sonali Rodrigues, Will you go to the prom with me? HMU -Tate." HMU means hit me up, or call me.
Update #2, 5/13/11: Still digging:
Two state lawmakers -- and more than 170,000 people on social networking sites -- have lined up to support a Connecticut teen who remains banned from his senior prom following Thursday's announcement that the decision to keep him out will not be reversed.
Update #3, 5/14/11: And the final verdict is:
Connecticut teen James Tate will now be allowed to attend his senior prom, according to the Connecticut Post.