A firey stoush between a Geraldton high school and its Year 12 families has ended in the college back peddling on its controversial move to scrap the graduating year’s ball. Nagle Catholic College on Tuesday advised parents the school ball — a rite of passage for Year 12 students — would be postponed in the wake of new high caseload protocols being announced for schools. In a letter obtained by the Guardian, college principal Michael Williams told parents Year 12 ball on February 19 was one of several events to be shelved as part of measures to “minimise the risk of COVID-19 entering or being transmitted on school grounds”. “We are hopeful that this significant event on the college calendar can be rescheduled for a time later in the year. “I recognise that these requirements will be disappointing to many of our students and their families, however, I wish to reassure you that Nagle Catholic College is undertaking all necessary measures to ensure the safety of our students, staff and the wider community.” The decision was at odds with comments by Premier Mark McGowan and Education Minister Sue Ellery which confirmed special “one-off” events like school balls were permitted under WA COVID rules, as long as guests abided by venue vaccination and mask guidelines. Students were heartbroken by the announcement and parents quickly took to social media to brainstorm a “Plan B” to ensure their children did not miss out on the Year 12 highlight. But the college on Wednesday reversed the decision, with Mr Williams saying in another letter to parents the ball would go ahead as planned. “Later (Tuesday) night, the College received confirmation from Catholic Education WA that school balls may occur, provided they comply with all COVID-19 regulations and are held away from the College site. Given this news, I am pleased the confirm that, at this point, the Year 12 Ball is able to occur at the same time and venue as has previously been advised,” he said. “I apologise for any confusion or concern this matter has created. I am sure you can appreciate that the evolving requirements regarding the developing COVID-19 pandemic are challenging.” Mr Williams said the initial decision to postpone the event was based on advice received by CEWA, which noted indoor face-to-face events would be prohibited in schools. “It came to our attention that schools in other educational systems, notably the Department of Education, were still proceeding with their balls, as planned. Given this, the College contacted CEWA seeking clarification as to whether, school balls could indeed still occur,” he said. “Nagle is incorporated within CEWA and takes its direction from this separate entity. Each governing authority considers the regulations provided by the Minister of Education and then develops a position which is consistent and applicable to its own entity.” It comes as Canning Vale College in Perth also reversed its decision to cancel its Year 12 ball after students started a petition and threatened to stage a sit-in protest outside the school office if the event could not go ahead. There are no plans to postpone or cancel the Year 12 ball at Geraldton Christian College and Geraldton Senior High School. It is understood Geraldton Grammar School were discussing plans around the annual event at time of print. Champion Bay Senior High School on Tuesday informed parents the school was “planning and implementing” ways to prevent the spread of the virus, but it did not confirm if the Year 12 ball would be going ahead. Nagle refused to respond to media requests and Catholic Education Western Australia has been contacted for comment.