PUBLIC SAFETY: Proms and after-parties are the reward for surviving teen years, but they too often turn tragic. Here are some tips for keeping things safe.
Parents and their children have different stakes and emotions in this all-American rite of passage. The trick is bridging the gap between trust and wise counsel.
• Know and discuss the high school’s code of conduct with your child before the prom;
• Examine whether the school code of conduct extends to off-site functions that have been approved by the school;
• Know who your child is attending the prom with and discuss the events for pre- and post-prom parties with other parents;
• Talk to your teen about the serious dangers and consequences of underage drinking and driving;
• Use specific examples of youngsters who have died or become permanently disabled because they weren’t thinking clearly;
• Discuss travel plans: Know who is driving, use a reputable limousine service, if needed — as in: one that doesn’t allow anyone to bring alcohol into the vehicle;
• Discuss guidelines and a curfew. Set strict consequences for violations;
• Know the location of any parties your child is attending and who is sponsoring them;
• If your youngster’s plans change, confirm it with other parents;
• Let him or her know that you can pick them up at a moment’s notice if necessary.
“By creating boundaries and openly discussing them with your child, parents establish a healthy balance between structure and freedom, allowing you and your child to fully enjoy this experience,” says Rafael Herrera of NY NJ Car Service.
You also might want to share the winning submission for the annual “Proms and Alcohol Don’t Mix” public service announcement contest released by the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) this week:
<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/JcRiv5olgdk” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
The 30-second commercial, produced by a group of students from Robbinsville High School, is running throughout throughout prom season on cable and local TV throughout New Jersey and is posted on YouTube and the ABC’s web site.
“We believe the contest and this PSA perfectly communicate our message that drinking underage can have social and physical consequences that teens should avoid,” ABC Director Michael Halfacre said.
It’s not just about health and safety, either: Possession of alcohol while under the legal age is a disorderly person’s offense, with fines of at least $500 and a six-month driver’s license suspension.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.