MESQUITE-- Perfect shoes, jewelry and, of course, the dress are all prom essentials. With prom two weeks away, most Mesquite High School girls have picked out all three.

'That's a big whole thing. Prom. That's high school,'said Annabel Estrada.

But a scheduling issue has students like Estrada worried that even if they have the gown of their dreams, they won't have time to get in it.

That's because prom was supposed to be held on Saturday, April 5, but it was moved to Friday, April 25. Now students say they are being forced to choose between attending classes that day and getting ready from prom.

'They should cancel school for that day. That's my honest opinion,' Estrada said.

School officials booked Union Station for prom back in September, but then in January the'Big Dance'got in the way of Mesquite's smaller dance.The March Madness Music Festival was scheduled for the same day at Reunion Park.

Parking at Union Station was reserved for that event, leaving no parking for prom-goers. The venue offered to bus students in from a remote parking location, but school officials were uncomfortable with that idea, citing safety reasons.

To avoid paying a $13,000 fee to break the contract, the school district accepted the later Friday date for prom instead.

'Most people have to go home and get dressed and all that stuff,'said Donathen Powell.

He has a date for the prom and says they'll barely have time to change clothes and arrive on time.

Admittedly, he says most of that stuff is girl stuff.

'The things that they do for prom, it goes all day,'said Kathy Deleon, a stylist at Mesquite's Studio 7 salon.

Time certainly will not be on the side of prom goers. It will be a race against the clock to get ready.

School lets outat 3:45 p.m. The prom begins at7:30 Dallas. That's less than four hours to get picture perfect, not including drive time and traffic.

At Studio 7, girls book appointments months ahead and they can sometimes be in the salon for at least three hours for hair, makeup and nails.

Mesquite ISD officials say if students skip out on school to avoid rushing to get ready, their absences won't be excused. They will, however, be able to attend prom.

'Attendance at school has absolutely no bearing on attendance at the prom,' said Mesquite ISD spokesperson Laura Jobe.

Jobe also said that while students have expressed their displeasure with the date change, the school's principal has not heard any complaints from parents.

Some students said it won't change their plans.

'We'll still go,'Powell said.

Powell said administrators should expect a lot of students to be fashionably late.

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