Groton Police Department Donald Palma Jr., Chief of Police
99 Pleasant Street
Groton MA 01450
For Immediate Release
Friday, March 29, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Groton Police Recommend Safe Graduation Practices
GROTON — Police Chief Donald Palma Jr. and the Groton Police Department would like to congratulate the 2015 senior class on their graduation tonight and remind students and parents how to celebrate responsibly.
“Graduation is likely the most exciting and most rewarding experience in a student’s high school career,” Chief Palma said. “Students should celebrate their accomplishments with family and friends, but we encourage all parties to do so in safe manner.”
Students, please remember:
• To not feel pressured to drink or do drugs. The penalty for person under 21 years old who attempts to purchase alcohol, makes arrangements to buy alcohol, or uses a fake I.D. is a suspended license for 180 days and a $300 fine.
• Never drink and drive. Do not get in a car with anyone who has been drinking or is under the influence of drugs.
• Respect yourself and others. Know you sexual boundaries and don’t hesitate to call 911 if you or someone you know is being abused.
Parents can help their students celebrate appropriately. Chief Palma recommends that adults:
Know their teenagers’ plans. Find out where your student is going, who it’s with and what they’ll be doing. Make sure all parties are supervised and that you and the responsible adults share the same expectations about party behavior. Be cautious of sleepovers as this could be an opportunity for students to use drugs, alcohol and/or have sex. Offer to drive your teenager to and from parties.
Set firm guidelines and expectations for post-ceremony celebrations. Establish a reasonable curfew and check-in periodically. Include consequences for breaking the rules in your discussion.
• If you’re hosting the party, provide non-alcoholic beverages and do not tolerate drugs on your property. Keep alcohol at home in a locked cabinet. Under the Social Host Law, parents are criminally and civilly liable if they allow underage drinking to occur in their homes.
• Keep an eye out for students bringing in backpacks or large purses, which could be used to conceal alcohol. Put guests’ belongings in a room and watch out for those who may be going into to their bags to retrieve alcohol or drugs that could have slipped past you at the door.
• Party crashers should be turned away, as the greater the number of guests at the your residence, the harder it will be to maintain a controlled environment.
• At the same time, if an invited guest arrives intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, be prepared to call the person’s parents. Alert adults to your rules before the celebration so they are aware of the consequences if their teen becomes a problem.
“Parents are one of, if not the most, influential factors in a child’s life,” Chief Palma said. “Keep the dialogue open before, during and after graduation parties and don’t be afraid to set boundaries. It never hurts to be over cautious.”