(SOUTH BRUCE, ON) - Summer is just around the corner and as the school year-end approaches, undoubtedly, teens will be attending graduation and end-of-the-year prom parties in the coming weeks. Will it be an alcohol and drug free party?
If alcohol and/or drugs are involved, it's quite possible the party may get out of control leading to situations where teens and young adults expose themselves to unnecessary risks, both legal and health related.
Youth who drink alcohol are at a higher risk of harm compared to adults due to their inexperience and lower tolerance. Quite often decisions made under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs lead to dangerous situations that can cause serious injury and death.
Members of the South Bruce Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are warning all parents and caregivers of the inherent dangers of attending and/or hosting after-prom parties. Property owners can and have been held civilly responsible for injuries sustained to persons on their property.
Police want to make it very clear that unsupervised after-prom parties and/or "field parties" are unsafe environments for anyone. Police are often called to investigate criminal reports of assault, drug and alcohol offences, sexual assaults, thefts, mischief and other related crimes stemming from these types of parties.
Police are encouraging parents and caregivers to speak with young people about the associated dangers of attending such events and find alternative activities for them to partake in.
For those who choose to attend or host one of these parties - they should be prepared for an increase in police presence as officers will be aggressively enforcing the law to ensure our youth enjoy these gatherings in a safe and responsible manner.
Some safety tips for teens on prom night:
Don't drink and drive
Don't text and drive
Don't take a ride from someone you know has been drinking or doing drugs
After prom parties should be supervised by an adult and always go with a buddy
Make sure a family member knows where you are and how to reach you
Make sure you have your cell phone with you and make sure it is charged
Whether you are in a relationship or with someone you just met, know your boundaries and communicate those boundaries with your partner
If you or someone you know is in danger call 911
Some tips for parents to help keep their teen safe on prom night:
Have a pre-prom talk - remind students of rules/laws and the consequences for breaking the rules/laws
Know where your teen will be after prom
Set up check in times throughout the night to ensure your teen is safe
Let your teen know they can call you for advice, help or for a ride
Establish a code word so that your teen can let you know if they are in trouble and need help
Everyone has a part to play in community safety and it is the hope of the OPP that anyone with information on suspected field parties or unsupervised after-prom parties will contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122, their local police, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).
Information and tips on how to host a safe grad party can be found at https://madd.ca/pages/programs/youth-services/school-programs/a-night-to-remember/