It’s not every day a high school dance invitation prompts a federal investigation, but such was the case last week at Patriot High School in Nokesville, Va.
A junior boy arranged for a U.S. Customs pilot to fly over the Prince William County school and drop a stuffed bulldog with a red bandana parachute on the football field. It carried a message for 17-year-old Victoria Burress -- “Fall Fest?” -- an invitation to the high school’s homecoming dance equivalent.
According to the Washington Post, the date-seeking boy’s father is a senior official in air operations at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and secured permission from the school’s principal to coordinate the drop-off.
Prince William County Schools spokesperson Phil Kavits told the Associated Press that requests like these are granted on a case-by-case basis with a mind to safety, adding that the helicopter in question was operating at a relatively high altitude and the football field was not accessible to students at the time of the drop.
The CBP, however, was not so compliant in the scheme.
The agency is reportedly reviewing the incident, and the pilot involved -- whose identity and connection to the student remains undisclosed -- has been reassigned to administrative duties for the time being.
A CBP official told the AP that the elaborate proposal happened during a training flight. The official said such flights are routine, and that the pilot was not ordered to participate by a superior.
She told the Post this isn’t the first time guys have gotten creative when asking her to a dance. When Burress attended Brentsville District High School, she was asked to the prom over the public-address system during halftime of a game.