Florida students say they waited outside for hours before homecoming dance

A New Smyrna Beach parent snapped a picture showing students in homecoming dresses and suits waiting outside their high school to get into their homecoming dance. Parents and students tell FOX 35 News that hundreds had to wait for hours.

"We sat in line for two and a half hours before we were able to get in and by then it was only about an hour left in the dance," said Christian Hunsicker, a senior at New Smyrna Beach High School.

When they did get in, Hunsicker says it wasn't very fun after sweating outside. He took the day off work and had already spent hundreds of dollars preparing.

"A lot of money was spent for this function that a lot of parents didn’t have because of Hurricane Ian, having to buy supplies and fixing their homes," said Christine Hunsicker, Christian's mother.

Hunsicker believes the problem was that there was only one metal detector to screen hundreds of students.

"They haven’t given any explanation," Christian Hunsicker said. "They did go over the intercom this morning and apologize for it multiple times and the kids who did not get in and get their name crossed off were able to get refunds for that."

Now, parents are hoping to pull something together for the students who missed out on the homecoming experience.

"This community needs to come together, and we need to find a venue and a DJ and financial aspects to get these kids snacks and waters to put this back on for them," said Christine Hunsicker. "It’s just the right thing to do."

FOX 35 reached out to the school district to ask what caused the delays and confusion Monday and received a statement from Volusia County Schools Tuesday that said: "Because of a venue scheduling conflict, the school had to move the dance from the gym to the cafeteria.

The school district added, "The change of venue created challenges with the established check-in process," creating a "bottle neck at the point of check-in."

Due to safety and security, the district said it could not let dance attendees in without officially having them checked in. 

"The school understands the hardship this created for all attendees, so they have arranged for students to be granted a full refund of their dance tickets for those who did not enter the dance. Students that entered the dance will not be granted a refund," the district said in a statement.