Chief of Police
2 Mudge Way
Bedford, MA 01730
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Bedford Police and Bedford Youth and Family Services Offer Tips For Students And Parents on Prom Safety
BEDFORD — Prom season is upon us! Police Chief Robert Bongiorno, the Bedford Police Department, and Bedford Youth and Family Services are working to make sure the end of the year celebration is a positive experience for students and parents.
This year, the Bedford High School Junior Prom is scheduled for May 15. Senior Prom is on May 31.
While prom can be one of the most memorable and exciting nights for students, it’s likely one of the most nerve-wracking for parents. Chief Bongiorno recommends discussing the dangers with children, as open dialogue leads to more conscious students.
“Our goal is to ensure that all students who attend the prom do so in the safest manner possible while still enjoying the celebratory event,” Chief Bongiorno said. “Parent involvement is a key piece in this process and I encourage all those with children going, or who might have concerns, to talk to their students.”
The Bedford Police Department also reminds students that it is illegal to possess, purchase, or drink alcohol if you are under age 21. It is illegal to purchase alcohol for or give alcohol to anyone under age 21.
Tips for students to stay safe before and after the prom:
• Think responsibly: Don’t feel pressured to drink, smoke, use drugs or have sex on prom night. It’s OK to say no, even if others are participating.
• Travel safely: According to the Center for Disease Control, teenage drivers are four times more likely than older drivers to crash. Always wear a seat belt, no matter how short the trip.
— Don’t drink and drive, and don’t get in a car with a driver who has been drinking
— Consider hiring a driver or limousine service who can devote full attention to the road
• Be alert: Dating violence is an issue that can affect heterosexual or same-sex couples, and those in a long-term relationship, or people who just met. Abuse can be verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual. Know beforehand what your sexual boundaries are, and communicate those to your partner. Don’t be afraid to tell a family member, friend, or call 911 if you or someone you know is abused or in danger.
Parents can play a large role in helping their children have a safe, yet memorable evening.
“We encourage all parents and guardians to get involved with their students’ prom experience through a healthy and positive dialogue before and after the event,” said Sue Baldauf, Director of Bedford’s Youth and Family Services. “Keeping the lines of communication open on both sides is an important step in achieving a positive outcome for parents and their children.”
• Communicate: Have a pre-prom talk and get students’ itineraries for the evening, including whom they will be with, where they’ll be going before and after the prom, and the phone numbers of where you can contact them. Come to a fair decision on a curfew and express any concerns about their health and safety.
— If students are not coming home right after prom, set up check-in times throughout the night and following morning.
• Plan ahead: After prom parties should be adult supervised. Students are recommended to always go with a buddy and notify parents or guardians where they’ll be and how to reach them.
— Adults should not let teens drink at home, even if no one plans to drive and keys are confiscated. Keep alcohol at home in a locked cabinet. Parents are criminally and civilly liable if they allow underage drinking to occur in their homes.
• Be available: Let students know they can call you at any time for help, advice or a ride, with the promise to not shame or embarrass them in front of others.
“The Bedford Police Department prides itself on partnering with the community to educate students and parents about the importance of celebrating responsibly,” said Sergeant Jeffrey Wardwell, the Bedford Police Department School Resource Officer. “Together, we can provide cohesive recommendations to help make sure prom season is a safe and happy one.”