"We stopped it a few years ago because it got out of hand," said HHS secretary Toni Sims. "We sent letters to the florists telling them we wouldn't accept deliveries. It was causing problems with the students; some got them and some didn't, and it made those who didn't feel pretty bad. It even got to the point we had students accuse each other of stealing their flowers, so it was decided the best thing for us would be to stop it all together."
At Boyle, 850 students make for a lot of Valentine's Day deliveries each year.
"The decision was made because of the struggle over the loss of instructional time over the years, and the distractions caused throughout most of the day," said Paul Elwyn, communications director for the school system. Elwyn added that the delivery ban applies to the high school only.
Some parents are upset that the decision was made, and Sandy Turner, owner of A Lasting Impression on South Third Street, said some orders had already been placed when she was informed.
"I understand the concern, but my problem with it was they were so late letting us know," she said. "We had several orders already, and we've had to contact all those people to let them know we need to make other arrangements."
Those schools which still accept the deliveries adhere to some restrictions. Flowers may be delivered only after 1:30 p.m., and the florist must supply the school with a printed list of the recipients. Arrangements must be in plastic, not glass, containers, and no balloons are allowed on buses by state law.
"We put all the flowers in the cafeteria, and near the end of the day the students are allowed to go there and pick up their flowers," said Vicki Tewmey, secretary at Mercer High School. "Parents start coming in first thing, though, and usually we're pretty well covered by the time the florists come by. It causes a lot of interruptions, but it is very pretty."
Winn Smith, assistant principal at Danville High School, said the deliveries do cause extra work for staff.
"Valentine's Day is tough with regard to handling all the deliveries, but it hasn't overwhelmed us yet," he said. "We typically don't have problems throughout the rest of the year, so we try to handle it this one day."
Both Turner and Jacobus said they make home deliveries, but Jacobus laments the end of a tradition at the schools that no longer accept floral deliveries.
"It's one day a year, but it's such a sweet gesture to miss out on," she said. "It's not just getting the flowers, it's getting them in front of the people you go to school with and work with that makes it special. You miss getting to show them off."