Michael L. Lyle, Chief
56 W. Foster St.
Melrose, MA 02176
Melrose Police Offer Prom Safety Tips for Students and Parents
MELROSE — It’s that time of year again — prom time! Police Chief Michael L. Lyle and the Melrose Police Department are working to make sure students and parents have a positive experience at this month’s end of the year celebration.
This year the Melrose High School Senior Prom is scheduled for May 26 in Boston.
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 youth make before, during and after prom can have long-lasting negative effects.
Chief Lyle encourages adults to reach out to their children to discuss the potential dangers prior to the dance.
“We certainly want students to have an enjoyable time at prom, but to do so in a responsible manner,” Chief Lyle said. “Parents, through talking with their children, can help ensure students make healthy choices and walk away with only positive memories 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 — before, during, or after the dance. It’s OK to say no, even if others are participating.
• Travel safely: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 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
• 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 homes.
• 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.
“Open communication between parents and students is an important part of the prom experience for both parties,” School Resource Officer Jim Applegate said. “We encourage adults to be available for their children during prom while setting rules and boundaries for any activities before or after the dance.”