Prom meeting held by staff for parents: Rules, consequences established


Due to the numerous incidents that occurred during last year’s Prom, increased safety precautions and preparations have been instituted for this years dance next month. Prom will be held on Friday, May 3, from 8:00 pm to 11:30 p.m. at the Bolger Center, Ben Franklin Hall with teachers and staff members hoping to deliver a much more safe environment for students.

At a meeting with many of the parents of the graduating class, Head-Instructors of the Prom Committee George Lavelle and Karen Onley shone light on some of their goals for this year’s dance. The most important and overall goal being to “provide a safe environment for seniors to have fun and enjoy their Prom.”

Many teachers understand that at a young age, students will inevitably partake in riskful activity throughout the night, which can lead to surmounting repercussions. With this understanding, members on the Prom committee like Lavelle and Onley have made an effort to inform parents with these meetings through powerpoints and informational letters.

“We know that it’s impossible to avoid students doing wrong and irresponsible things at Prom every year. It just happens. The best thing that we can do is just prepare ourselves, parents and, most importantly, the students in order to ensure a safe yet fun night. Last year, things got a little rough for others and I would hate to see that happen again – which is why we are putting in extra time to make sure everyone is on the same page and on the right track,” Lavelle said.

The teachers and parent-volunteers will also be hosting a ‘Post-Prom Party’ to prevent any unsafe ‘after-parties’ from happening after the dance ends. Doing so would help reduce the risk of students attending an overcrowded, unsupervised house while under the influence. The Post-Prom Party will be held in the Walter Johnson cafeteria immediately following Prom and will last until 3:30 a.m. It is designed to provide an extension of Prom where students can still enjoy the rest of the night in a safe environment. There will be fun activities, music, prizes, food and more. Most importantly, it is completely free to all WJ seniors plus one guest, and buses will be provided free as well to transport the students from the Bolger Center to WJ.

Ms. Slough and her team claim they will be greeting students as they arrive at the scene, as well as two other cops in the area. The police officers will be fully armed, carrying breathalyzers to be used at their concern. A minimum offense for an intoxicated student  is a 3 day suspension, however, consequences are “purely situational”. Any distribution of alcohol or inhalation-substances can be punishable by “long-term administrative supported, out-of-school expulsion”. Whether a student is suspended for a few days or expelled, they risk missing Advanced Placement Exams which take place the following week of Prom.

“I think it’s great that they’re giving us free bus rides to Walter Johnson after Prom. It’s honestly a pretty smart idea because it can prevent so many deadly accidents. The Post-Prom Party is a great idea and I’m glad that it’s also very welcoming to not only the students (free of charge) but also to their dates who might not go to WJ,” senior class officer Keenan Lange said.