Wellness and Drug and Alcohol Abuse Initiative:
PROM WEEKEND SAFETY April 24 7:00p.m. EHS Library
The next event of the District’s yearlong wellness and substance abuse prevention initiative is targeted at prom safety. While the Eastchester High School prom has always been a wonderful and safe affair for our students, the events that occur after the prom can make this rite of passage a dangerous and risky one for teens.
We invite you to join us on April 24, at 7pm in the High School. We will feature a presentation from (retired) Officer Joseph Engrassia of the Seaside Heights, New Jersey Police Department who will share with us a “behind the scenes” perspective on what happens on prom weekend in Seaside Heights, a popular destination for our students.
Officer Engrassia is a long-time veteran of the Seaside Heights Police Department who has in-depth experience with high school students visiting Seaside Heights for the weekend after their prom. He will offer some insight about what happens and will offer important tips to help students enjoy a safe weekend after prom. Parents are encouraged to bring their high school aged child(ren) to this event.
While this evening is primarily focused on prom safety and teens, the message will be informative to parents of children of all ages.
Please see below for some compelling information about prom weekends and how to keep your children safe. You can also click here for a PDF: Prom Safety
High School Prom Safety
The high school prom is a rite of passage for many teens – but one that can be dangerous. Most of the trouble begins after the prom, at after-prom parties and at weekend celebrations away from home.
Did you know?
- Accidents are the number one cause of death for young people aged 12 to 19, and those involving motor vehicles are the most common. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show roughly a third of alcohol-related teen traffic fatalities occur between April and June, the peak of prom season.
- Despite the fact that more teens are involved in fatal traffic accidents related to alcohol during prom season, the majority of high school aged students don't seem to recognize how dangerous it actually is. A Liberty Mutual survey of nearly 2,300 juniors and seniors found that just 20 percent believe being on the roads on prom night or weekend is dangerous. Six percent of those surveyed admitted to driving under the influence after prom.
- Drug and alcohol use is more common than you think - an AAA survey of teens aged 16 to 19, published in February 2014, found that 41 percent said it was likely that they or their friends would use drugs or alcohol on prom night or after.
- Teens may put themselves at risk instead of asking for help. According to AAA, 84 percent of teens surveyed said their friends would be more likely to get behind the wheel after drinking than to call home for a ride (if they believed they'd get in trouble for using alcohol). Another 22 percent said they'd ride in a car with someone who was impaired instead of calling their parents.
- Heavy drinking on prom weekend is the norm for many students. According to Liberty Mutual, 54 percent of teens who admitted to drinking during or after the prom said they consumed four or more alcoholic beverages.
- Peer pressure contributes to drug and alcohol use. Data from Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Chrysler found that nearly 75 percent of teens felt pressured to use alcohol while another 49 percent said their friends encouraged them to try drugs during prom.
- Parents are split on whether to allow drinking. A survey conducted by PEMCO Insurance found that while 51 percent of adults said parents should forbid their child from going to an after-prom party where alcohol would be present, another 20 percent gave it the thumbs up as long as the event would be chaperoned.
- But parental influence does matter. According to another survey from MADD, teens whose parents view underage drinking as totally unacceptable are 80 percent less likely to drink compared to their peers whose parents are more lenient about it.
- Girls have reason to be cautious. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 1 in 5 female high school students is the victim of physical or sexual abuse at the hands of a date. While there are no hard numbers on the incidence of date rapes occurring on prom night, the risk of being victimized is almost certainly higher on prom night when alcohol is involved.
It’s the simple truth that some teenagers will engage in underage drinking while celebrating
this traditional high school event.
To keep kids safe, parents can:
- Discuss prom night rules with your teen, including the dangers of drinking and driving. Have a copy of the prom night schedule; have the details of any pre-and post-prom events.
- Encourage your teen to commit to safety on prom night and weekend.
- Don’t let teens drive. While it may be costly, hiring a limousine or bus is an option. Be sure to ask about the limo service’s policy on allowing alcohol in the vehicle.
- Do not allow your child to attend parties that will be serving alcohol to minors.
- Make sure your teen has a cell phone in case of an emergency. Have mandatory check-in times for your teen during prom night.
- If your teen needs help because of driver who has been drinking, encourage them to call you – no questions asked. It is better to be safe than sorry.
- Don’t even consider hosting a party where alcohol is served to teens. You could face serious fines and even jail time in many states.
- Be sure your teen has extra money for cab fare if they are in an uncomfortable situation or if the designated driver isn’t driving safely.
- While it may be a challenge, stay awake until your teen returns home from prom night even if it means that you have to stay up all night.
- Finally, remind your teen that the number one killer of teenagers is car accidents.
To stay safe, teens should:
- Never drink and drive or ride with someone who has been drinking.
- Arrange for safe transportation before prom night arrives.
- Attend after-prom parties that don't include alcohol.
- Never leave drinks unattended.
- Stay with their group of friends and look out for each other.
- Make sure a friend does not drive if he or she has been drinking.
- Listen to parents or guardians about the dangers of underage drinking and driving.
- Commit to safety on prom night.
Peer pressure may tempt you to drink on prom night, but we hope you say "no."
Underage drinking and driving causes serious accidents and even death.
That's why we hope you'll avoid the alcohol to enjoy your night – and your future.
Date: April 24, 2017 7:00p.m. EHS Library