Local high schools gear up for prom safety

As the month of April draws to a close, and many schools host their proms, Lincoln Parish high schools have taken precautions to ensure the safety of their students and prevent the number of drunk driving incidents.

According to the Louisiana Highway Commission, more fatal crashes occurred in April 2004, the month when many high school proms are held in Louisiana, than in any other month. Almost 46 percent of these fatal crashes were alcohol related. Last year in Louisiana drivers aged 15 to 17 had the highest proportional fatality rate of any age group. Drivers aged 18 to 20 had the second highest proportional fatality rate.

Grambling High will have their prom in the Black and Gold Room on Friday with a zero tolerance policy on the consumption of alcohol during the prom. School officials also plan to talk to the students about safety procedures driving to and from the prom.

“We have different programs and speakers throughout the year to speak to the kids about alcohol, not only for prom,” said Michael Lyons, assistant principal of Grambling High.

The school will also enforce a rule on guests at the prom- guests from outside of the school must be either a junior or senior in high school or no more than a year graduated from high school to accompany the high schoolers. “We hope [the students] will remember what we teach them all year and apply it to prom night,” said Lyons.

Cedar Creek high school, who had their prom on Saturday, April 16, in Lincoln Hall in Ruston kept their students too busy to drink. The prom was from 9 to 12 and afterwards, a breakfast was held for the students.

Some safety tips to take during prom season and any special occasion include:

· Use a seatbelt when driving.

· Don’t consume alcohol and if so, have a designated driver or consider a taxi.

· Limit the number of passengers in your vehicles.

· Provide a contact number to friends and family.

Each school has done their part in making sure that their students’ prom is a memorable one – not a fatal one.