Donald C. Cudmore, Chief of Police
47 Central Street
Georgetown, MA 01833
Georgetown Police Offer Prom Safety Tips for Students and Parents
GEORGETOWN — It’s prom time! Police Chief Donald C. Cudmore and the Georgetown Police Department are working to make sure students and parents have a positive experience at this week’s celebration.
This year the Georgetown Junior/Senior Prom is May 15.
For students, prom can be one of the most memorable and exciting nights, but for parents, it’s likely one of the most nerve-wracking events. The decisions you make before, during and after prom can have long-term consequences.
Chief Cudmore recommends parents reach out to their children to talk about the potential dangers prior to the dance.
“Our goal for this end of the year event is to always have students act responsibly while celebrating with their classmates,” Chief Cudmore said. “Parents are encouraged to talk to their children about making healthy choices to ensure only positive memories are taken away from the night.”
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 — prior, during, or after the dance. 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. 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 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 houses.
• 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 should set boundaries for after-prom celebrations, but also let their students know they’re accessible at all times during the night if a problem should arise,” Chief Cudmore said. “Open communication between adults and children is an important factor in helping both parties feel relaxed and excited about the night.”