By Laura Haefeli

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Parents in Sacramento are upset after an email was sent out about vaccine requirements at their children’s homecoming dance.

Parents at Rio Americano High School say students will have to abide by vaccine protocols that aren’t enforced during regular school hours.

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Rio Americano students are just days away from their big dance.

“This is the first dance they’re going to have since school started,” said Latsamy Cesar, whose daughter is a freshman and already has her dress picked out.

“She’s wearing a black long mermaid dress,” said Latsamy.

An exciting time, the Cesars say, was tarnished after the school sent out the rules for homecoming.

“I was really upset. I got an email,” said Latsamy.

To get into homecoming, students will have to show proof of vaccination or produce a negative COVID test, a protocol San Juan Unified School District confirms to CBS13 is not in place during regular school activities.

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“They’re in school five days a week from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. and they’re inside a building. Now the dance is going to be outside,” said Latsamy.

Masks will also be required at the dance, unlike outdoor school activities where they’re only encouraged.

“There’s more people at the football game than any dance,” said Latsamy.

So why are there more strict rules in place for homecoming? We’re getting answers.

The San Juan Unified school district tells CBS13 they’re following the Sacramento County Public Health requirements for school dances. A district spokesperson issued a statement that reads, in part:

“Homecoming and other dances encourage close, face-to-face contact between individuals…we have implemented safety guidelines for high/close contact events to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

“It’s better to be safe when everyone is going to be close together,” said Rio Americano senior Oliver Kringle.

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The Sacramento county public health website also explains it’s difficult to contact trace after large events like school dances, making COVID-19 transmission that much more likely.