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Here’s to a safe prom

May 8, 2008
Lake Placid News
Prom season is a time for glamour and excitement for students. While parents and teachers may also look forward to seeing teenagers all decked out in their fancy gowns and sleek tuxedos, many are anxious about the parties and underage drinking that sometimes go along with the celebration.

While students are busy worrying about what color dresses to wear, how to style their hair, renting a limo, taking pictures, what kind of flowers they should get — and where the after-prom parties are — parents are biting their nails worrying about the risky, absent-minded behavior often associated with proms, not just the underage drinking.

This is why most schools around here arrange their own alcohol-free, lightly supervised after-prom parties, which give teens a chance to hang out, play games, dance and sometimes even take a dip in a hot tub or jump all night on a trampoline. These events give teens a healthy alternative and allow parents to take a deep breath and know their child will be safe. This year, Lake Placid and Keene high schools will be holding this type of fun-filled event.

First and foremost, let your teens know you want them to have an amazing and memorable prom. However, make it imperative that they provide you with their complete itinerary for the evening, including whom they will be with, where they’ll be going after the prom and the phone numbers where you can contact them. If your teen has a cell phone, make sure he or she carries it and checks in, if necessary. Come to a fair decision on a curfew, and make sure your concerns about their health and safety are known. It’s also important to explain to them why prom night makes it more difficult to make safe and smart decisions, and how alcohol can affect their judgment.

Safe after-prom parties have become the norm over the past decade, but they don’t happen magically. Volunteer parents — some of whose kids have already graduated from high school — put in a massive amount of time and effort to make these things happen, and local businesses and people donate many of the expensive prizes offered to lure kids to these parties instead of ones with alcohol. They do it out of love for the kids, and we thank them, but more volunteers are needed: chaperones, decorators, etc.

For all the students kicking up their heels this month, we hope you have a fabulous evening and that everyone gets home safely. For all you parents out there, we want to remind you that after all the serious talks you’ll be having with your teens, make sure to have fun with the evening, too; it’s an exciting night in your teen’s life. And make sure to take lots of pictures!



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