Chief Michael P Murphy
150 Park St.
North Reading, MA 01864
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
North Reading Police Offer Tips For Students And Parents on Prom Safety
NORTH READING — Prom season has arrived! It’s the last big party where everyone will be all together before parting ways for college, the military or wherever else life takes them. Police Chief Michael P. Murphy and the North Reading Police Department are working to ensure that the end of the year celebration is a positive experience for students and parents.
This year, the North Reading High School Senior Prom is scheduled for June 1.
While prom can be one of the most memorable and exciting night for students, it’s likely one of the most nerve-wracking for parents. Chief Murphy encourages adults to stay involved leading up to the event and to talk about the potential dangers of the night with their children.
“We never want students to be in a situation where they feel unsafe,” Chief Murphy said. “Keeping the dialogue open between parents and their children will help ensure that students attending prom night do so in a safe, healthy, and fun manner that creates happy memories.”
Tips for students to stay safe before and after the prom:
• Think responsibly: Don’t feel pressured to drink, smoke, or use drugs. It’s OK to say no, even if others are participating. Think of what to say ahead of time in case you’re faced with those situations. Being prepared will help you to be better able to handle them if they arise. Be confident and be a positive leader. The decisions you make could affect the rest of your life.
• 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’s been drinking
— Don’t text or look at a text. It can wait
— Consider hiring a driver or a limousine service that can devote their full attention to the road
• Be alert: Dating violence is an issue that can affect heterosexual or same-sex couples, those in a long-term relationship, or people who just met. Abuse can be verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual. Know beforehand what your 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.
Tips for parents to help keep their kids safe before and after the prom:
• Communicate: Have a pre-prom talk to establish reasonable ground rules. Know your child’s agenda for the evening, including whom they’ll be with and where they’ll be going before and after the prom. Come to a fair decision on a curfew.
— If students are not coming home right after prom, set up check-in times throughout the night and the following morning.
— Talk with other parents about the plans.
— Don’t rent hotel rooms for your kids unless you plan on supervising.
— Don’t purchase alcohol for anyone under 21. It’s illegal.
• Plan ahead: After prom parties should be supervised by a responsible adult. Adults should not let teens drink at home, even if no one plans to drive and keys are confiscated. Any present alcohol should be kept 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.
“Parents can help ease their own concerns with prom night by working with their kids to ensure that no matter what the situation is, they can call home for help,” North Reading Police Department School Resource Officer Scott Tilton said. “Students are more apt to reach out to adults if they’re assured their actions will not be reprimanded, especially in front of their peers.”
By pre-planning and taking these precautions, parents and teens can both look forward to a wonderful and memorable prom night.
Prom should be special, fun and above all safe.