Michael J. d’Entremont
Chief of Police
600 High St.
Dedham, MA 02026
Dedham Police Offer Prom Safety Tips for Students and Parents
DEDHAM — Prom is upon us! Police Chief Michael d’Entremont and the Dedham Police Department are working to ensure students and parents enjoy this week’s celebration while remaining safe and making healthy choices.
This year the Dedham Junior/Senior Prom is May 15.
For students, prom can be one of the most memorable and exciting events of their high school career, but for parents, it can be a stressful night. Students should remember the decisions made before, during and after prom can have long-term consequences.
Chief d’Entremont recommends parents reinforce the importance of good decision making with their children and facilitate conversations often and regularly about potentially destructive choices.
“We do our best to ensure that parents and their teens are on the same page in regards to prom night,” Chief d’Entremont said. “Our goal is that all students behave responsibly while making lasting, positive memories.”
Tips for students to stay safe before and after the prom:
• Think responsibly: Don’t feel pressured to take part in inappropriate behavior — prior, during, or after the dance. It’s OK to say no, even if others are participating.
• Travel safely: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teenagers. Always buckle up, no matter how short the trip. It’s the law.
- Don’t text and drive. Texting and cell phone use while driving is illegal for Massachusetts teens under 18 years old.
- Don’t drink and drive, and don’t get in a car with a driver who has been drinking
• Be alert: Dating violence is an issue that can affect anybody — 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. Where ever you go after prom, 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.
• Communicate: Have a pre-prom talk to set guidelines for students during prom and remind them of the consequences for breaking the rules. Reinforce that you will not tolerate underage drinking, and that’s it’s illegal. 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 and prescription drugs in a locked cabinet. Under the Social Host law, parents are criminally and civilly liable if they allow underage drinking to occur in their houses.
• Be understanding: 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.
- Establish a code word your teen can say to let you know if they are in trouble or need your help.
“As a parent you should set guidelines with your child, but also encourage them to have a fun night. Be sure to remind them that you’re only a phone call away,” Chief d’Entremont said. “Staying involved with your children and having open communication is a powerful tool that can better ensure teens have a successful and safe night.”