Don't Look the Other Way: Vigilance encouraged during prom and graduation season.
April kicks off the prom and graduation season and the Pledge for Life Partnership is warning that underage drinking increases dramatically during this time.
“Teens are under increased pressure to use alcohol or other drugs around these events and we are hoping that parents and the community are especially vigilant,” said Debra Baron, the director of the Partnership. The Partnership is a sponsor of the I-KAN Regional Office of Education’s Life Education Center (LEC) programs and administers a federal underage drinking prevention grant for junior and senior high school students.
Nearly 60 percent of alcohol-related fatal car crashes among teens occur during prom season and young drivers age 15 to 20 are more often involved in alcohol-related crashes than any other age group, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse. In addition, compromised judgment and high risk behaviors increases and teens are more likely to engage in sex, vandalism or other violent behaviors. Suicide risks also increase.
To assist law enforcement in their efforts to keep these events as safe and special as possible, the Partnership mailed a list of prom and graduation dates scheduled at high schools in Kankakee and Iroquois counties to 23 local police and sheriff’s departments. The effort is part of the Partnership’s Don’t Look the Other Way … Start Talking Now! community awareness initiative.
”Being responsible isn’t always easy, but allowing underage drinking puts our children at great risk of harming themselves and others. It also teaches them that breaking the law is acceptable. We’re hoping that the unified front between the schools and law enforcement will discourage adults from furnishing their kids with alcohol and other drugs,” Baron added.
National surveys show that as high as 65 percent of teens reported that they get alcohol from family and friends – with and without permission. “Parents continue to have the greatest influence in their child’s decision not to drink. We hope they will reinforce the fact that underage drinking is against the law and have open discussions with their children about the dangers of alcohol consumption.”
Prom and graduation dates for the Kankakee Iroquois Region
Kankakee County Schools:
Momence High School
Kankakee High School
Herscher High School
St. Anne High School
Manteno High School
Bradley-Bourbonnais High School
Grant Park High School
Bishop McNarama High School
Iroquois County Schools:
Donovan High School
Iroquois West High School
Central High School
Milford High School
Cissna Park High School
Crescent City High School
Watseka High School
Christ Lutheran, Buckley