Good choices keep prom safe

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By Dave Bell

This is the time of year for proms, and many local high schools have either held theirs already or will be holding them soon. At Vandalia Community High School, the prom is this Saturday from 7-11:30 p.m.

It’s a wonderful time of making memories, socializing with friends and enjoying a dress-up date. If you’d like a glimpse into the evening’s activities, the coronation of the prom king and queen will take place at 8 p.m. in the gymnasium. This year’s theme is “A Night of Enchantment.”

But prom is also a time full of potential dangers. Along with the positives of prom night come the dangers if students choose to add alcohol or drugs to the evening. It’s a recipe for tragedy.

Parents, school officials and certainly the students themselves all have a role to play. Adults must provide positive alternatives to drinking and other risky behavior. Students must commit to making good choices – and make plans to spend the evening with others who will support those choices.

To help, the parents of juniors and seniors at VCHS have once again organized post-prom activities at Jefferson Primary School. Post-prom begins at midnight and ends at 3:45 a.m. It gives students a fun alternative to the dangerous side of prom night.

Among the activities this year are a mechanical bull, an obstacle course, a cash machine, several games and other activities. An attractive array of prizes – including laptops, televisions, iPods, digital cameras and camcorders – can be won by participating students. That, alone, should make post-prom an attractive draw for students.

Let’s make this prom night one of enchantment – not tragedy.