Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Director of Public Safety, reminds everyone that prom season is about to get underway. The State Police is offering prom safety tips for parents to help keep teens safe during and after the celebration.
"Proms are exciting events for many high school students and we want to help ensure that they remain safe before, during and after," Colonel Assumpico said. "We strongly encourage parents, school officials and others to remind teens to drive safely and responsibly to create a safe and memorable experience for everyone."
Colonel Assumpico offers the following tips:
Confirm Your Teen's Itinerary
- Make sure your teen has a plan before, during and after the prom, and that you know what the plans are.
- Ask your teen to call or text you if plans change, or if they have any concerns.
- Ensure that after-prom parties will be supervised by an adult, and that alcohol and drugs will not be allowed.
Stay in Touch
- Make sure your teen has a fully charged phone.
- Get a phone number for your teen's prom date and several friends, so you can reach someone if your teen does not answer calls or texts.
Arrange Safe Transportation
- Avoid having your teen or his/her friends drive, if possible. Get a group of friends to rent a limo or bus if possible.
- Remind your teen not to drink and drive, and not to get in the car with anyone who has been drinking or using drugs.
- Teens also need to be reminded not to text and drive, and to wear seatbelts at all times.
- Tell your teen to not get into a car if anyone in it has alcohol, drugs or weapons. It is not only dangerous, everyone in the car is at risk of being arrested.
- Discuss school rules, and your rules, for proms and after-parties, as well as the consequences.
- Remind your teen that everything is likely to be caught on camera, and could be shared on social media.
- Ensure your teen and his/her friends check on each other throughout the evening.
- Remind them not to let others pressure them into drinking, using drugs or doing anything they do not want to do. They should respect themselves and others.
- Tell your teen to call 911 immediately if anyone loses consciousness. They will not get in trouble if they call for help, and they could save a life.
Have a Backup Plan
- Make sure your child has someone to call if plans change or they need help.
- Stress that you will pick your teen up at any place and anytime if they want to come home; no questions asked.
"The prom is one of the highlights of high school for many students," Colonel Assumpico said. "We encourage everyone to make smart decisions to keep it safe and fun."