“I haven't look at any dresses because I have to fight to be allowed to go my prom first,” – Ariane Brunelle.
MONTREAL – It sounds like something out of a movie, a 17-year-old fashion model who was told she wouldn’t be allowed to go to prom or graduation because she spent too much time in front of the cameras – and not with her textbooks.
That’s what happened to Ariane Brunelle, a student at École Thérèse-Martin de Joliette.
The teen has been balancing work and school since December 2014.
She thought she was doing a good job – even keeping her grades above an 82 per cent average.
“It’s a lot of work to manage my schedule and make sure that everything for school gets done in time,” she explained.
“The hardest thing is being on the road and having less time to sleep, but I know how important it is.”
“I put so much effort in getting good grades, handing in assignments on time and catching up on any material that I have missed.”
Ariane Brunelle is a 17-year-old fashion model from Joliette, Quebec. Folio Montreal
Ariane Brunelle is a 17-year-old fashion model from Joliette, Quebec.
Brunelle, who is represented by Folio Montreal, has been featured in several fashion campaigns, such as Lise Watier, Garage and L’Aubainerie, making between $1,000 and $3,000 a contract.
“I love being in front of the camera and I get to meet a lot of different people,” she said.
“I’ve been taking pictures with my friend Maggie since we were children, so it’s been a dream come true.”
Once Brunelle’s career started taking off, she said she and her mother went to speak to the school to explain her unique situation.
“If you read the policy regarding absences, it says that it’s up to the school’s discretion to make an exception should they see fit to do so,” she said.
According to Brunelle, the school’s administration told her she wouldn’t be allowed to attend any end-of-year events because she had missed 9-and-a-half days of school – more than 56 periods.
“I haven’t looked at any dresses because I have to fight to be allowed to go my prom first,” she told Global News.
Ariane Brunelle featured on the cover of Dress To Kill magazine. Folio Montreal
Ariane Brunelle featured on the cover of Dress To Kill magazine.
The school refused to make an exception in her case.
“We were told that nothing could be done,” said Brunelle.
“I’m mostly upset that I can’t go to prom with my friends.”
“We’ve all been together since elementary and they know how hard I work to succeed in both school and modelling.”
Ariane Brunelle, 17, poses during a photo shoot. Folio Montreal
Ariane Brunelle, 17, poses during a photo shoot.
Brunelle’s mother and stepfather are still trying to negotiate with the school’s principal and the des Samares school board, but to no avail.
“They said that the choice is mine and that maybe I should re-evaluate my priorities,” she said.
“They said there are rules and that exceptions can’t be made.”
Neither the school, nor the school board, responded to Global News’ request for comment.