WANAQUE — Students at a New Jersey high school are upset at a new school policy that will prohibit them from taking a limo, party bus or their own vehicle to the prom.

Lakeland Regional High School superintendent Hugh E. Beattie said the new rule is about safety and "equity" so that students who can't afford a snazzy ride don't feel left out.

Beattle said that following a "group decision made by the Administrative Team" at the Sussex County school, the only way to get to the prom at the Rockleigh Country Club in Bergen County is to take a chaperoned school bus at a cost of $15 a person. There will be two departure times from each location for the 45-minute trip on June 4.

The decision was made "based on the concern over the safety of all our students and in providing equity for all students so that they all could enjoy a shared 'prom experience' despite socio-economic status, and based on the success that other districts have demonstrated utilizing this practice," Beattie said.

"The district wants to ensure that all students have the equal opportunity to share in a positive, safe and memorable school prom experience."

The rule was met with howls of complaints from students and parents who say renting a limo with friends is part of the tradition of the prom.

One student told CBS New York that the limo ride was "the best part of the night."

The police also eliminates another tradition: taking photos at the New Jersey Botanical Garden in Ringwood, which is in the opposite direction of the prom venue.

Parents and students told CBS New York they will bring the matter up at the March 12 Board of Education meeting.

The law seems to be on the district's side, according to New Jersey School Boards Association spokeswoman Janey Bramford.

"As a prom is a school-sponsored function, a school district has the authority to make rules concerning the event," Bramford said in an email.

The Freehold Regional High School district has bused students to the junior prom for over 20 years, mostly for concerns over parking because the event usually takes place on a cruise boat, according to spokeswoman Rebecca Policastro. She said there are no plans to extend the policy to the senior prom.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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