Michael Lyle, Chief
56 W. Foster Street
Melrose, MA 02176
MELROSE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Cyndy Taymore, Superintendent
360 Lynn Fells Parkway
Melrose, MA 02176
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
*Joint Press Release*
Melrose Police Department and Melrose High School Provide Prom Safety Tips
MELROSE – As prom approaches next week, Police Chief Michael L. Lyle and Melrose High School Principal Marianne Farrell are working to ensure students and parents have positive and safe experiences.
MHS senior prom will take place on June 1 at Gillette Stadium.
For students, prom can be one of the most memorable and exciting events of their high school career, but for parents, it can be a stressful night. Students should remember their decisions can have long-term consequences.
Chief Lyle and Principal Farrell ask that parents reinforce the importance of good decision making with their children and facilitate conversations often and regularly about potentially destructive choices.
“Students, please celebrate responsibly,” Chief Lyle said. “Do not drink and drive and never feel pressured to participate in illegal activities.”
“Parents should sit down with their children and have an honest discussion about acceptable behavior before, during and after prom,” Principal Farrell said. “Set expectations and rules so that students go into the night with a set of guidelines to ensure they remain safe and responsible.”
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.
—– 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. 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 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 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 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.