I agree. The idea of the prom may be an idea whose time has come and gone. The society has changed so much and many proms have become so excessive.
When I was a girl (1970s), my parents went to formal dances a few times a year. I suppose that twenty years earlier, it was even more common for middle-class adults to have tuxedo-and-ball-gown events. However, now it is almost never done.
And my mother never spent the amount of money that is now common for 8th grade girls going to the middle-school “prom.” Mom never paid to have her hair styled for a dance, for example. She had a sensible short haircut, and she washed it and combed it, that’s it.
To me, it makes no sense for schools to hold these events. If people want events like this, families or community groups should organize them privately. I’ve known church groups to hold balls, and community organizations such as the Philippine-American Club. This creates a whole different set of standards for the youth, and keeps the ACLU and grandstanding dingdongs firmly out.