Rick Smith, Chief of Police
1 Union St.
Wakefield, MA 01880
For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Wakefield Police Provide Safety Tips for Prom Season
WAKEFIELD – As students head off to prom, Chief Rick Smith and the Wakefield Police Department are working to ensure teenagers and parents enjoy the celebration in a healthy and safe manner.
The Wakefield Junior Prom is May 13 and the Senior Prom is June 1.
Prom can be one of the most memorable and exciting events for students, but they should remember the decisions made before, during and after the celebration can have long-term consequences.
Wakefield Police recommend parents reinforce the importance of good decision making with their children and facilitate conversations often and regularly about potentially destructive choices.
“Take the time to sit down and have a conversation with your children about your expectations before and after prom,” Chief Smith said. “Our goal is for students to have a fun night out with their friends that ends with only 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. Additionally,
—– 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. Wherever 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 the following morning.
- Plan ahead: After prom parties should be adult supervised. Students are encouraged 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.