Spring marks the beginning of exciting, high school festivities. As you and your teens plan out wardrobe, transportation before the Junior and Senior proms and the Senior Banquet and graduation parties, I urge parents to keep the lines of communication open to help your sons and daughters make the right choices - - and I'm not talkin' boutonnieres!
I mean talking to your sons and daughters about steering clear of illegal, dangerous, and potentially, life-threatening activities including alcohol and drug use, drunk driving and texting while driving.
Prom nights, the banquet and parties:
- Talk to your teenagers about the risks associated with drug and alcohol use and abuse, drunk driving, and texting while driving;
- Make sure your teen has a plan for the evening and that you know what that plan is; and
- Know who is driving. If traveling by rented limo, check their policy on allowing alcohol in the vehicle.
- Have address and know what time parties begin and end and
- Touch base to adult party-giver with a friendly phone call. This is perfectly acceptable protocol!
- Supervise parties to ensure that kids do not consume alcohol or drugs in your home. Allowing minors to consume alcoholic beverages in your home or on your property is illegal!
- Keep in Mind: a minor who possesses an alcoholic beverage has committed an infraction. A person who procures alcoholic beverages for him or her may be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison and up to $2,000 in fines.
- Owners of a dwelling where minors are in possession of alcohol who permits such possession may be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
Parents going out of town on a weekend or week night:
- Remind your teens that they may not hold parties in your home while you are away and there is to be no consumption of alcohol beverages or illegal drugs in your home or on your property;
- You can both sign a contract to that effect;
- If you have not already, lock up all alcoholic beverages and all prescription drugs; and
- Notify your neighbors and friends that you will be away. Have them call you, immediately, if there's any unusual activity at your house.
Parents, teachers and other adults in our community, please keep our teens safe! Let's avoid unnecessary tragedies.