It’s Prom & Grad season! As celebrations are being planned and will soon start taking place around the county, please take a moment to read the following message sent out by APS, which includes helpful reminders to keep our teens safe:
It’s prom and graduation time – a time for celebration. This is also a time when teens (and many adults) often believe it is a time to use alcohol and other drugs as part of celebrating. One bad decision can result in tragedy, not just for the young person, but for family members, friends, and our entire community.
Teens in Arlington who are under the legal drinking age indicate that it is very easy to access alcohol. ln surveys, they tell us that they most often obtain the alcohol they drink from their own homes and from friends’ homes, with or without permission.
The good news is that one national report indicates that 83 percent of 10-18-year-olds identify their parents as the leading influence for them not to drink. Today, we are asking for your help in making prom and graduation nights safe for teens. Here are some useful tips before you start taking pictures and sending them on their way:
- Talk to your children. Make it clear that you do NOT approve of them drinking alcohol, even on this special occasion. Educate them about the risks associated with drinking, including alcohol poisoning, unwanted sexual advances, poor impulse control, risky choices, and legal consequences. Let them know that you want this to be a time they will remember without using alcohol or drugs.
- Do not serve or allow alcohol or drugs at any party you are hosting.
- Make sure your teen has a plan for the night, and you know what it is. Clarify your expectation that if the plan changes, you will be contacted immediately.
- Know where your teenager is attending a party and verify there will be parental supervision and that it will be alcohol-free.
- Do not rent hotel rooms for prom-goers. This is an invitation for high-risk behavior.
- Know who is driving – several area limousine companies provide a Prom Pledge that prohibits alcohol or drugs in the vehicle.
- Talk to your teenager’s friends’ parents. There are lots of ways to join together for these special evenings. Just be sure that a major part of the planning includes the expectation that no alcohol or drugs will be permitted.
- Remind your teenager that there are legal and school consequences for using drugs and alcohol at school-related events.
- Look for more information on hosting alcohol- and drug-free celebrations; a list of Arlington’s PROMise participants and Virginia Limousine companies with the Prom Pledge is at www.READYCoalition.org
Please help protect your child’s future by providing a safe, alcohol-free season of celebrations!”
A copy of this letter signed by the Superintendent, the Chief of Police, the School Board Chair and all High School Principal among others, is attached in English and Spanish.
Thank you for your attention to this very important matter.
See the complete letter HERE: Prom and Grad Letter 2017