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Marriott Not Commenting On COVID Prom At Boca Center

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Parents Of Boca Raton Community High School Students Allegedly Planned Party, Hundreds Of Kids Attended. City Unaware. School District Reviewing.

Marriott at Boca Center in Boca Raton, FL. Marriott International will not comment on an unsanctioned high school prom that allegedly took place inside, despite COVID-19 restrictions.

BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — An unsanctioned senior prom for select students at Boca Raton Community High School is now being reviewed by the Palm Beach County School District, while Marriott International says it won’t comment on what happened at the Boca Raton property that flies its flag. (News app readers access our full report).

The Marriott at Boca Center is a franchise and not owned by the company, but is marketed as a part of Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR). Despite Marriott’s continued promotion of COVID compliance and efforts to convince the public that its properties are safe, Marriott Spokeswoman Sara Conneighton said it will not comment on reports of a massive, unmasked high school event at its Boca Raton location.

“As this hotel is operated by a franchise management company, you would need to contact them,” said Conneighton in an emailed statement to BocaNewsNow.com.

Students and parents contacting BocaNewsNow.com say 200-400 students attended the event which is being hash-tagged as “Boca High School Prom 2021,” and similar, on social media. The event was allegedly orchestrated by a high school mother who is also a professional party planner. Several teens were allegedly excluded from the invitation-only event.

While BocaNewsNow.com has been unable to independently confirm the true number of students attending, any unmasked gathering would be a violation of Palm Beach County and City of Boca Raton COVID ordinances and mandates in place.

BocaNewsNow.com received a significant amount of contact on our story, with not one denial that the event took place.

Boca Center Marriott General Manager Ron Wichowski didn’t respond to requests from BocaNewsNow.com.

Wrote one student to BocaNewsNow.com: “The private ‘Boca High Senior Prom 2021 had approximately 200 (couple’s) tickets sold online to the Marriott hotel. Then some rocket scientist thought it would be good idea to have an after party at an area adult bar.”

Wrote another, in reference to claims made in our first report that the private prom excluded minorities: “The girl named (redacted) made all of this happen and specifically said she didn’t want people of color attending.”

Wrote a parent in reference to this claim: “were they supposed to invite their whole class? That would even been more of a COVID violation.”

Boca Raton Marriott General Manager Ron Wichowski did not respond to multiple requests for comment from BocaNewsNow.com. A senior manager with Dimension Development Company, a Louisiana company that manages the Boca Raton Marriott, said he knew nothing of the event and is investigating.

City of Boca Raton Spokeswoman Anne Marie Connolly said that Code Enforcement was unaware of the event and did not receive complaints. However, she stated such an event would be inconsistent with current COVID rules, regulations and mandates.

“We are strongly encouraging visitors and residents to continue with (COVID Protocols),” said Connolly.

Palm Beach County School District Spokesperson Claudia Shea said the school district also knew nothing about the event until it was publicized Tuesday morning. The report on BocaNewsNow.com led parents to reach out to area administrators. Boca Raton Community High School is now offering COVID-19 tests to students who attended, as well as anyone in the school who believes they may have been infected with COVID.

Shea said neither PTSA nor district funds were used for the event. Sources say the Principal of the school, Dr. Susie King, was caught off guard by the unsanctioned party and use of the name “Boca High School Prom 2021.”

Boca Raton Community High School has one of the highest COVID infection counts in the entire Palm Beach County School District, where nearly 80,000 students continue to take part in distance learning to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection spread.

Photos posted to social media also show either a pre-prom photo shoot, or separate event, at a Boca-area country club. It is also carrying hashtags related to the Boca High 2021 “prom.”

While several parents contacting BocaNewsNow.com said that we were “evil,” “horrible,” “clearly a democrat,” and “believe that COVID is real when it’s so obvious that it’s not” for reporting on the events, one parent said any unsafe event, especially run by adults, is unacceptable.

“These people are idiots,” said the parent. “I don’t fault the kids, although they should know better. I fault the parents who believe the rules don’t apply and who believe having money to rent a hotel ballroom means they are immune from COVID-19. I also can’t believe Marriott would be okay with this sort of activity.”

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