Weeknight proms, letters from kids: How to stop excessive partying after prom?

Would holding prom on a weeknight and requiring kids to be at school the next day help cut down on drinking and excessive partying by minors?

Some schools, like Pearl River in New York, think so and have moved their junior prom to a Wednesday night and their senior prom to a Sunday night.

From The New York Times:

“High schools around the country have long held weekday proms to take advantage of lower prices at hotels and social halls, but many either schedule such events before a day off for, say, teacher development, or allow students to miss school the day after with their parents’ permission.”

“Not in Pearl River. Bill Furdon, the principal of the high school, said that if the threats about sports and schoolwork do not work to maintain attendance, promgoers in future years who fail to show up the next morning may not be allowed to walk at graduation.”

“There are carrots as well as sticks. Pearl River promgoers will be welcomed to school the morning after with a breakfast of eggs, sausage and bacon served by the P.T.A. There will be field day events until noon, followed by regular classes.”

Other schools have planned class trips instead of prom and specific after-prom outings to keep kids occupied.

Our local high school is taking a different approach to help curb drinking. My 8-year-old daughter wrote a letter today for homework imploring a high school student not to drink and drive. She said her letter along with many others from the elementary school would be given to a random student at the high school. I guess to make them think before prom this weekend.

So what do you think: Would you like prom to be scheduled on a weeknight with attendance requirements the next day? Do you think it would help curb the drinking and the partying? Would it ruin the fun of the actual dance?

What do you think of the other solutions?

Class trip

Planned after-events

Letter campaign from younger students?

46 comments Add your comment

Jeff

April 15th, 2010
7:31 am

My father once told me that I had until middle school to establish what ever morals I wanted in my children. At that point, you lose your influence. Kids are going to be kids and explore their boundaries. Heck, we adults still do it ourselves. If they come back alive, not preggos, or anything else that impacts their future, sometimes that’s all you can ask for. Be greatful.

Jeff

April 15th, 2010
7:35 am

Sorry, grateful.

Cheryl

April 15th, 2010
7:59 am

This is silly, especially for XXXXXXX High School. Does an 8 year old know that it’s illegal for high schoolers to even be drinking? They are asking them to not drive, but not asking them to avoid the illegal activity. Weird. How will the 8 year olds feel if someone dies after drinking and driving? Will they feel responsible?

Andrea

April 15th, 2010
8:06 am

I think a weeknight event is fine for a middle school function but not a high school function. I agree with Jeff in that by the time they reach high school, the morals or lack therof have already been established.

Andrea

April 15th, 2010
8:08 am

I like the idea of a class trip but not every child can afford it – especially in the current economic state. A day trip to Stone Mountain or something like that could be fun. But, when I think of a class trip, I think of Cancun or the Bahamas or something like that.

cld

April 15th, 2010
8:18 am

Where does school responsibility stop and personal responsibility take over? Prom on a school night? Give me a break! When I went to prom (late 90s), hair appointments were as early as lunchtime, because salons were booked. Our proms were from 8-midnight. Dinners were at 6 or 7 p.m. Which meant pictures were 4 or 5 . . . Do they think girls are going to be able to get their hair done (or do it themselves) between 2:30 and 4? Every salon in town, operating at full capacity, couldn’t handle that burden. So the alternative is to completely change what prom is – no fancy hair, no formal pictures (umm, because Mom and Dad are probably still at work) and no dinners downtown?

What about chaperones? How many teachers are going to want to chaperone a dance until midnight, then drive an hour home, then have to be back at work at 6:30 the next morning? And parents are going to be even LESS able to monitor their kids’ activities, because parents have to work the next day.

I’m sorry, I’m not a big proponent of “rights of passage” but this is one that I guess I think every kid should be able to experience (whether they want to or not). I think it’s just to much. A big thumbs-down from this mom.

cld

April 15th, 2010
8:19 am

*My “whether they want to or not” statement didn’t mean all kids should participate – it meant every teenager should have the opportunity to decide if they want to participate.

TechMom

April 15th, 2010
8:35 am

I agree with @cld, it essentially means these kids are missing 2 days of school if it’s held during the week in order to have lower prices. My proms were always on Saturday but we did have a couple of other dances on Friday (like Homecoming) but even then there were tons of girls who checked out at lunchtime to go get their hair done before the game. But with prom so many more kids go and it tends to be later so I’m sure they’re zombies the next day. Why go through all that effort to save what $20 per person?

Due to budget concerns this past year, we held our company holiday party on a Thursday. Talk about people being pissed! Not that it applies to my situation exactly (b/c I work from home and have a 14 year old) but I can underdstand that it’s a pain to leave work, sit in traffic, get the kids, get the babysitter, order pizza, drive to the venue, then have to pay the babysitter and drive him/her home at 11pm, etc. all to spend a couple of hours with your co-workers. And that’s exactly why a ton of people passed up the invite. This year, we’ll be spending a few thousand dollars more to have it at another venue on a Saturday. BUT that also meant the social committee had to get on the ball and book this year’s venue in January so we could find an affordable venue that was still available on a Saturday in December. Perhaps the prom committees need to consider doing the same so they can find a lower-cost venue that isn’t already booked for prom.

Polytron/E2M Sucks

April 15th, 2010
8:40 am

Can we possibly be more “nanny-like”? Why don’t we just remove proms altogether since after all, there might be “unlawful congregating” or “lustful thoughts.”

Or how about this shocking idea:
How about we just leave things alone for once and stop treating them like children.

Sheesh…

RJ

April 15th, 2010
8:51 am

Where do we get these administrators? There is no logic to their decision. The girls will miss school to get their hair and nails done. Mom or Dad will miss a day of work taking them to their appointments, unless they have a car. As someone already stated, teachers won’t be as willing to chaperone if they have to come to work the next day. Plus, the kids are simply going to miss school the day before and after the prom.

I didn’t start drinking until I was in college. Every kid isn’t going to drink. The ones that are will drink if you have the prom on Wednesday, Sunday or Saturday; it’s a celebration and they’re going to celebrate!

It’s absurd for students to be threatened with missing graduation because they didn’t show up the day after prom. What they’ll do is go to the doctor’s office for no particular reason and get an excuse. It’s really quite simple.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

April 15th, 2010
9:13 am

Guys — there is breaking news on the Russian adoptions that we discussed on Monday — The Russians HAVE suspended all US adoptions — more details and a discussion at the link below.

http://blogs.ajc.com/momania/2010/04/15/russia-does-suspend-all-u-s-adoptions/

mystery poster

April 15th, 2010
9:16 am

I think making them show up to school and then not having classes (a picnic instead) is just downright stupid.

Becky

April 15th, 2010
9:20 am

If these kids want to drink and party, they will even if the prom is on a weeknight..One thing that confuses me though, is the principal threatening them with not walking at graduation..Has he forgotten what it was like to be young? My Mom would just take me in an hour or so late to solve that problem..

Something else that confuses me, this is one night, can the kids not survive one night without sleeping eight hours? As my 7 year old granddaughter would say, are you that much of a wussy puss? I mean, when I was in high school, we went out 3-4 times per week, I worked a full time job and was in school every day..Are the kids today that whimpy?

No, I’m not trying to start a war here, just wondering…

cld

April 15th, 2010
9:26 am

Becky, I think it’s one thing to acknowledge that kids are going to stay up too late on a school night. (I worked in high school and remember being peaved when my boss made me stay until 11 p.m. on a Monday night, just so he could have a five-minute meeting with everyone after we closed.) However, I think it’s different to host a school function so late at night on a school night. Then again, I didn’t go out on week nights until I got to college . . . and even then, it was rare.

I do remember the night before our gradution, the principal spoke to our (700-person) class after rehearsal, and the last thing he said was to “go out and . . . do whatever kids do the night before graduation.” I didn’t drink until college, but that line has stuck with me through the years – that he actually had a sense of humor about it. Of course, I ended up being friends-of-friends with his son (who attended a different high school) in college, and the son was more than a little wild.

Jeff

April 15th, 2010
9:28 am

TWG, given the impression we have created with Russia regarding our parenting abilities as a country, it doesn’t surprise. Plus they can use it as a propoganda tool. It’s a win-win for them to take that step. I would do it if I were in their shoes.

mystery poster

April 15th, 2010
9:33 am

@Becky
Agreed. They should EASILY be able to function at school the next day after being out late, especially at a picnic. Great opportunity to take a nap under a shady tree.

I used to go out until late at night, enjoy some adult beverages, and still manage to function at work the next day when I was young.

JATL

April 15th, 2010
9:34 am

Where is my comment? Here’s another one for you -I’m sorry, I’m not trying to slam your particular 8 year old. I DO think what they did writing the letters is very sweet, but I see high school students laughing over it. I know we would have.

Uconn

April 15th, 2010
9:43 am

I do think though that if given a choice of having the prom on weekday or no prom at all I think that I would take the weekday prom. I am talking about if the school is under a budget crunch, I know that I would have preffered a prom over no prom. Back in the day at my high school we had it on a Friday and we were given that day off to prepare… Oh and we were served dinner at prom…

As for having it on a weekday in order to curb drinking and what not…As some of you said, no matter what day it is, kids will drink, this is true, but if one kid doesn’t drink because of it and is the DD for some of their friends, I think it will have made a difference. And all of the “its a rite of passage” and “don’t you remember what it was like to be young?” Well yeah I do remember what it was like to be young, only when I was 17-18, we weren’t like kids are now, SO disrespectful of parents and authority (even my mom said this recently) so I think as people change so do the rules.

Oh and if I had had my prom on a weekday and had to be in school the next day or risk not walking in graduation… Oh my but would be there… If not because I wanted to, my mother would have dragged me to school, saying … If you want to play, you have to pay… Too bad too many parents now just want to be their kids’ friends… JMHO

DB

April 15th, 2010
9:45 am

Oh, good grief — that’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. They are “required” to be at school so they can what — eat a big breakfast and have a stupid field day that everyone will be too tired to have fun with, and then drag their butts to class after lunch? Explain to me again how this is going to make them stop drinking, if they want to? NOT. Seems like the administration is deliberately setting them up to fail — and just watch the lawsuits fly if they try to enforce that “not walking at graduation” b.s. because they missed ONE particular day, as opposed to the Monday that week, etc.

You don’t want your kids to drink? Then PARENT them. Sorry, but a cute note from a 3rd grader isn’t going to influence a teenager hell-bent on breaking the rules. However, the loss of their driver’s license, driving privileges, cell phone or restrictions on their ability to socialize WILL, if parents have the cajones to make it stick.

JJ

April 15th, 2010
9:46 am

Cut the freaking apron strings, and let the kids have their prom, their hotel rooms, etc. It’s what memories are made of. It’s a high school passage and it should NOT be held on a week night. That’s just insane. Let these kids party and have a good time, and let them have the memories……

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

April 15th, 2010
10:56 am

If my kid were in this school, I’d recommend he think outside the box and see if there was support in his school to sponsor a “prom” on a weekend without school sponsorship. I think it would be pretty enterprising of him if the school’s prom got boycotted in favor of a student organized dance without administrative intervention. He might even be able to make a few bucks.

FCM

April 15th, 2010
11:53 am

Footloose gone 21st century?

bigguy

April 15th, 2010
12:13 pm

You could just send them to a certain northwest Georgia city school where a responsible school board member reportedly takes the keys away from kids who are drinking at his parties. Plus, the school has a nursery for all the infants born to current students. Talk about taking care of the problem!

fk

April 15th, 2010
12:34 pm

I think my sr. prom was on the Tuesday after Memorial Day (school year ran thru 3rd week of June). Skipped school that day. Took the day after the prom off, too. Actually, any seniors who may have shown up for school the day after was only there b/c they had reached the max absences in a class and would not graduate. The day, the time nor the place does not make a difference – if the kids are going to drink, they’re going to drink. By the time the prom rolls around, you’re too late for the sex and drinking talks. Those should have occurred regularly and for several years prior.

JoeV

April 15th, 2010
1:15 pm

This touches on my biggest fears of being a parent in the future. I am going to be so worried that my kid(s) will do some of the same stupid crap I did, but not be as lucky as I was and get away without being hurt or arrested. Scary stuff what kids can do these days.

Johnny

April 15th, 2010
1:40 pm

Raise ethical children with high morals.

If you are worried about what is going to happen on some prom night, you are way, way, way too late to do anything about it.

Even if you somehow “control” prom night, that is just one night. You cannot control your offspring every second of every day or night.

If they don’t “have it” by now, waiting until prom night to get started influencing them in a positive direction is too late.

Gram

April 15th, 2010
1:55 pm

When I was in h.s. (grad. ‘67), I was in the D.C. area. We all piled into a bunch of cars immediately after prom (around mid-night-ish), and headed for Ocean City, Maryland. We didn’t get rooms (we couldn’t afford that)…we went for the sun and fun…and even though we all came home looking like boiled lobsters, we had a great time. When we got tired, we spread out our blankets, and napped on the beach. I’ll never forget my first trip there. We didn’t have to spend a lot of money, everyone chipped in for gas, and we took coolers full of sodas and snacks.

JATL

April 15th, 2010
1:55 pm

I hear you JoeV! The way I see it -all I can do is what my parents did -raise them with values and to have judgment skills (this means you cannot hover and protect them constantly so that they NEVER learn any lessons), and hope for the best! I was a wild child -to a certain extent -but there were things I knew I would NEVER do (try heroin or meth, steal, etc.). My parents would have keeled over if they knew half the things I did do, but because of having some judgment skills and ethics I didn’t get into a lot of the trouble some kids do. I really hope we get out of high school with no arrests, no horrible accidents and no babies, but at some point you just have to let go and hope for the best!

JJ

April 15th, 2010
2:39 pm

I remember my prom as being the first night my parents didn’t set a curfew……They told me I didn’t have to be home at a certain time. I came dragging in around 7:00 the next morning.

However, we were able to drink beer and wine at 18 in Colorado. We were responsible, and partied at one person’s home, and we all pitched in on a keg. And we all stayed the night,,,,GASP….boys and girls at the same house, in the same basement…….

Raise your kids up well, be there for them at all times, and LET them fail from time to time. How else do they learn? Remember, we were young once too…..and we SWORE we would NOT be like our parents…

Becky

April 15th, 2010
2:44 pm

@JJ..Haha, I remember plenty of times when I would get home about 6 or 7, take a shower, change clothes and walk off to school, slept during one class and after school went home to do homework, then off to work..My sister and a friend would meet me at quiting time with clothes (clean) and off we would go again..This was pretty much my routine during high school..Those were the good old days..

Laura

April 15th, 2010
3:02 pm

I am truly amazed the press this story is getting. This is my school district, and my son’s junior prom. In the beginning there was alot of moaning and groaning from the kids…most of it passed in time and most of the kids were looking forward to last night. The decision was not approved by all parents, but was by most.

The prom function itself, no longer mattered to the students, it became an excuse to continue a tradition of getting drunk. They would bolt for the exit door after the king and queen were announced and head for the wiating buses for a trip to a comedy club in NYC, which they could never get into since it is late when they get there and there is no room…so they drive all night around the city indulging and puking. That was the scene, no joke.

Time honored tradtions? Great memories? Even the ones they could remember? Kids want to drink, they will drink. At 17 my son will have many “opportunites”. But as for last night he truly enjoyed the time he spent with his friends last night, HE WENT TO PROM. I give Mr. Furdon kudos, he took the extra steps to try to keep 16 and 17yr olds from participating in a dangerous binge drinking evening, and took the pressure of the parents, the ones who would say “I am sorry you are the only one, but no, you can’t take the party bus after the prom”.

Adminstrators and PTA tried to keep the event special , prom attendees where allowed to leave school early to pre-pare for the night, breakfast and field day activities were planned to continue the fun. And guess what? Despite all the efforts given by the principal. administrators and parents to try to stop 16 and 17 yr olds from making stupid decisions (because we have all made them), there are still party buses planned for this weekend…sheets circulating for students to sign up for their bus…there are parents by signing the contracts for these buses what to give everyone involved with this decision the finger. Let them make their point, and put their kids on those buses…Godspeed, I hope you do not regret your decision to use your kids to make a statement.

KSB

April 15th, 2010
3:02 pm

I was so wasted I barely have a recollection of my prom night.

I also went to as many prom nights at as many different places close to me as possible, so it is just not my prom night.

Just show up dressed decently, be polite and you will have a good time (you may not remember all of it though).

My parents may have been surprised at some of the goings on because they would have no knowledge of the way we do things nowadays, but not *shocked* by any stretch of the imagination.

Anything goes! And things you have not even thought of.

How many stories start: …”Well, on my prom night I/we…”

jd

April 15th, 2010
3:12 pm

Some kids just require more parental monitoring. I have two girls raised with the same values and morals that are opposite in every way. My oldest, I would trust to do about anything but the other….let’s just say, I have to doubt most things she says (sad I know, but true). As parents, we know our children and if we think they’re going to do something stupid, it’s up to us to try and put up any road block we can to prevent it. When my youngest (now 15) has her prom night, I’ll be following every step she takes.

Jack

April 15th, 2010
3:40 pm

Kids will drink if they want whether it’s prom night or another weeekend night.

very simple solution to all this so prom can stay as it has been. punish those that drink, or get arrested, etc.. For instance, any junior caught would have to go to summer school and any senior caught would also have to do the same (summer school) to get their diploma. it’s won’t stop teen drinking but prom traditions can stay as it has with punishments for the stupid few.

Tea Party Protest Sign Spell Chequer

April 15th, 2010
6:46 pm

Really? A letter from an 8 year old about drunk driving will work? Look, if the commercials on MTV don’t work, how do you expect a lecture from an 8 year old to work?

FCM

April 15th, 2010
8:28 pm

Prom is right of passage. It should be handled by the parents not the school…open to ALL Jr/Sr or just Sr class members. The parents could ask that it be advertised (and pay for it) in school publications–papers, programs, and newsletters. Take the burden of making everyone “safe” off the school–who may well be liable if the students are harmed or harm on the prom night.

Unfortunately when you put too much of the responsibility on the school this is what you get. Too many parents have had a hands off approach and let the schools parent for too long.

sherry

April 16th, 2010
7:49 am

If you are being raised right, drinking shouldn’t be an issue. The kids now day have done and seen everything before reaching 21, Parents I know you can be with your kids 24 7, But you can teach them moral values. Be a parent not their friend.

sherry

April 16th, 2010
7:53 am

You were so wasted, you didn’t remember your prom. Why even bothering going. So, everybody has memories and you lost brain cells.

Prom Firsts

April 16th, 2010
9:55 am

Prom used to be the night that girls lost their virginity. Now, its usually the first time someone comes in the back door.

Meme

April 16th, 2010
10:37 am

We met my father going to work the morning after the Prom. I was grounded until the end of school.

FCM

April 16th, 2010
3:11 pm

KSB are the prom stories better than stories that start “This one time at Band Camp….”?

fk

April 16th, 2010
5:53 pm

FCM: My kid had jaw dropper of a story that started, “Well, on the 8th grade trip…”

FCM

April 16th, 2010
10:32 pm

fk…I was making a pop culture reference to be silly. I have no doubt there are some jaw dropper stories out there. Truth be told most of us on here probably have a few ourselves.

“This one time in the basement…..”

;)

fk

April 16th, 2010
11:18 pm

Not like this one. I can’t think of any words that would keep my post from being blocked, otherwise, I’d share it.

julia

April 18th, 2010
11:23 pm

I would love for it to be during the week.. I think I even heard that they cant miss the day afterwards

jake

April 27th, 2010
12:01 am

prom on a school night is just stupid. you cant require kids to be in school the next day anyways what if someone really got sick? kids are going to drink no matter what, who cares just let them have some fun its highschool, prom is supposed to be one of their best nights ever in highschool. why do they care so much about drinking, its one extra night it will happen on all other nights anyways