Pittsburgh's star running back agreed over the weekend to attend high school prom with Ava Tarantino, a 17-year-old junior at Waukesha West in Wisconsin who'd won a Twitter re-tweet bet to bring Bell as her date.
According to Annysa Johnson of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Ava Tarantino, a 17-year-old student at Waukesha West, will attend the prom's opening ceremonies with Bell, but can not take him to the dance, citing district policy. It would've been nice - and fun - to make an exception for Tarantino and Bell here - but the situation also presented the Waukesha school district with an opportunity to show how seriously it takes these policies and no exceptions will be allowed.
But according to Johnson, school policy prohibits Bell from attending on multiple fronts.
Jim Tarantino doesn't know the details of Bell's past, but he wonders if Bell speaking to students about overcoming mistakes would be beneficial.
Bell was arrested in August 2014 for marijuana possession, which resulted in 15 months probation and a 60-day suspension of his driver's license. Bell responded with a tweet that said, "a deal is a deal" and he'd see Tarantino at prom.
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Waukesha School District spokeswoman Terry Schuster alluded to Bell's run-in with the law in 2015 when explaining the decision.
Tarantino is a lifelong Steelers fan. Bell's girlfriend was going to do Tarantino's makeup for the night.
He thinks the district could use Bell's visit to impart a number of positive lessons for students: that hard work breeds success, that negative actions have consequences, and that sometimes there are second chances.
I would say most fans would be okay with that if that is simply the consolation prize. "He's not her date", the student's father said. "And I think the fact that he's agreed to do this and to bring his family, speaks very highly of who he is as a person".