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From the Desk of Legislator Dave Mejias: May 29, 2009

Prom Night Tips

Nassau County Legislator Dave Mejias (D-Farmingdale) reminds parents that there is a great deal they can do to keep their teenagers safe on Prom Night and ensure that it is a positive experience.
“Parents can help to ensure that Prom Night is a great experience for their children,” Legislator Mejias said. “It requires some forethought on their part, a commitment to discussions prior to the event with their children, and knowledge of who they plan to spend the evening with, and where, if anywhere, that they plan to go after prom. Knowledge is power when applied for parents, and informed parents can help keep teenagers safe on what should be one of the best nights of their young lives.“

Some tips for parents to keep teenagers safe on Prom Night include:
Know and discuss the school code of conduct before the prom with your child.
Does the school code of conduct extend to off-site functions that have been approved by the school?
Know who your child is attending the prom with and discuss the events for pre- and post-prom parties with other parents.
Discuss the dangers of drinking and driving. New York State law mandates arrest and license revocation/suspension of any person under 21 driving with .02 percent or more Blood Alcohol Content, which is only one drink.
Talk with your child about the dangers of club drugs, warning signs and who to notify for assistance.
Pre-plan and role-play answers that your child can use to get out of uncomfortable situations. (e.g., offered alcohol, getting a ride from an intoxicated driver, unwanted sexual advances, etc.)
Discuss guidelines and a curfew. Discuss the consequences of violating these rules.
Discuss travel plans, and use a reputable limousine service that will not allow a person to bring, serve or introduce alcohol into the vehicle.
Know who is driving to the prom and who will be a passenger. Limit the number of passengers to increase safety and reduce driver distractions.
Know the location of post-prom parties and who is sponsoring them.
Talk to your teenager about the serious dangers and consequences of underage drinking and driving.
If your child’s plans change, confirm the change with the parents of other children.
Remind your child that you are there for them. Encourage them to call you if they need a ride home or to an after-prom affair