Updated: Wednesday, 11 May 2011, 11:24 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 11 May 2011, 6:09 AM EDT
Shelton, Conn. (WTNH) - A Shelton High School senior blocked from going to his prom because of the way he asked his date is getting support from tens of thousands of people online.
Last week, Tate asked Sonali Rodrigues to the June 4th prom by taping large cardboard letters to the outside of Shelton High. The invitation read "Sonali Rodrigues, will you go to prom with me? HMU (hit me up) - Tate".
On Tuesday, Tate was given an in-school suspension and banned from prom, but now he is heading on national television.
When asked which show he would go on first from all the shows that have contacted him so far, Tate said, "I'm a fan of Kimmel, Fallon... big fan of Ellen. I like Letterman."
CNN, Oprah, and everyone in-between have expressed interest in the romantic romeo. On Wednesday night, Tate and Rodrigues were scheduled to be on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Tate is an honor student that was just trying to impress his friend, and let her know how much he cares. He is now banished by the headmaster, and shut out of prom.
"It's unreal. I wish my friends didn't get into trouble. I feel like a jerk for getting them in trouble, and leaving my date dateless," Tate said.
But people in the community, town leaders, and even strangers from around the state are rallying behind him.
"The facebook is like let him go to prom 30-thousand times over. And then the text messages are like 'how are you hanging in there buddy', it's not straining or anything. It's just bizzare," said Tate.
Shelton Superintendent Freeman Burr said in a written statement Wednesday, "In response to your recent inquiry, I am aware of the local, state and national media attention surrounding the situation and I have no further comments regarding the matter at this time."
Tuesday night Tate and Rodrigues posed for pictures outside of Shelton High.
"I feel like I did it to make her feel special and I accomplished that," Tate told WABC-TV.
"I thought it was cute, I don't know, I liked it, and I said 'Yes'," Rodrigues said.
Shelton High Headmaster Beth Smith still has not commented on the prom invitation and suspension.
WABC reported other students are afraid to stand up for James. They don't want to be banned from the prom either.
Rodrigues told the Connecticut Post she was also called to the headmaster's office. "This is really upsetting... It's our senior year and we are supposed to have happy memories, not something like this."
"I tried to appeal -- tried to just get a detention instead," Tate told the Post. "I even offered to do community service -- like cleaning up the litter outside the school."
On prom night Tate said he plans to get dressed anyway, take pictures, and then wait until the end of the official prom to rejoin Rodrigues and go to after-prom parties.
In the past day the Tate saga has gone viral, with news organizations around the world, among them the Daily Mail in England, printing and posting the story.