Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Last Saturday night was Prom, an annual rite of spring in high schools across the nation.  This year's theme was 1920s, a Gatsbyesque celebration of a time long gone.  Students raved about the lovely d├ęcor, the delicious food, and the remarkable saxophonist that played so well.  Our students were decked out in their finest gowns and sharp tuxedos.  I don't have permission to post their pictures here, but the costuming was indeed lovely. 

Our school has a no tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol at prom.  Each car is met by chaperones.  Students are expected to arrive and remain sober during the event.  Cars, limos, and party buses are searched as needed. Students are very well supervised.  Any student that leaves the event is not allowed to return.

Post prom parties are another matter.  Some parents believe
that they should host the party and allow drinking in their homes on the grounds that at least the kids are supervised.  Other parents take a no tolerance stance, letting their own children know that underage drinking and drug use are unacceptable under any circumstances. 

What are your thoughts?  How do you think we should handle underage drinking and drug use with our own children and in our culture as a whole?  What are the best means to keep our teens safe?  I welcome your comments below. 


  1. Our district hosts an After Prom Bash at a local university recreation center. Tickets are around $15, they have to arrive by 12:30 (dance is over at 12), and are locked in until 5:30 a.m. There are lots of games and lots of opportunities to win prizes, like computers, mp3 players, etc., and in the past, even a car! There's a huge committee of parents & teachers who work on organizing the event, soliciting monetary donations and prizes from local citizens and merchants. The kids love it, the parents love it, the school loves it, and it definitely keeps them off the streets, sober, and safe on prom night. Another local high school has a similar event after graduation - another night notorious for mischief.

  2. As a parent getting ready to send my eldest to high school, this is a pretty easy issue for me. The fact that I don't drink and have never taken an illegal drug makes it even easier. I don't encourage my children to be lawless, that somehow laws are for other people but not them. Quite simply, underage drinking is illegal. Drugs are illegal. If you choose to break the law you are risking your own physical health and perhaps that of those with you, your freedom should you be caught, and the trust of your family. Your personal decisions have consequences that ripple well beyond your own little personal pond. I will not bail you out of jail. I will not pay for your legal fees. I will no longer subsidize your insurance. Adult decisions carry adult ramifications. If you find yourself in a situation where there is drinking, I expect you to extricate yourself, even if it means you call home to have mommy or daddy pick you up. Better to be uncool than injured, assaulted, or dead. You've been raised to make good decisions about your health and well-being - this but one of many chances to put those skills into practice. Choose wisely. Oh, and if you're the parent who decides to serve alcohol to my child (regardless, but especially if you lie to me about it) because you think it's "safe" to do it in the home, I have several friends in law enforcement.