Prom and Underage Drinking

Prom season is almost upon us and we want our high school students to have a great time but safety is always a concern at this time of year.  Here are some sobering statistics about prom night and student drinking:

  • 90% of students believe classmates will drink and drive.
  • Alcohol is involved in almost 1/3 of student road accident fatalities.
  • 54% of students will have four or more drinks on prom night.
  • About 5,000 students under age 21 die from incidents of under-age drinking in the United States each year

Student alcohol consumption on campus and at school functions is a problem many school corporations face. Most Indiana school corporations strive to maintain an alcohol-free environment for their students. However, many students often view homecoming, prom, graduation, and other school events as rites of passage in which drinking alcohol is an acceptable way to celebrate the occasion.

For school corporations, student alcohol consumption while on school property or at school events can become a major liability issue. If students were to become injured or die from alcohol poisoning, a car accident, a violent crime or suicide, the school may be held liable for not preventing underage drinking.

Fortunately, there are some steps your school can take to discourage student alcohol consumption.

  1. Develop and enforce a school policy regarding student alcohol abuse.
    Your school policy should cover your school’s expectations for zero tolerance of underage drinking while students are on campus or at school events. Your policy also should make it clear what the disciplinary actions will be if a student is found with or using alcohol while on campus or at school events.
  2. Inform students about your alcohol abuse policy.
    Your school’s student handbook should include your school’s policy about student alcohol abuse. At the beginning of the school year, students should be required to acknowledge that they have read the handbook and understand the school’s policy. Additionally, your school may decide to hold a convocation about the dangers of alcohol use. During this assembly, the principal could review the school’s alcohol abuse policy.
  3. Provide “sober” school dances or events.
    To discourage student alcohol consumption, your school may want to organize sober dances or events where the emphasis is on the food, entertainment and fun activities for students. These alcohol-free events should include clear rules, such as no crashers, no returning once the student leaves, and what the consequences will be if a student is caught with alcohol or drinking. Additionally, these events should be well-chaperoned by positive adult role models.
  4. Install security cameras throughout your school environment.
    Conspicuously placed video surveillance security cameras on schoolproperty can help reduce student alcohol consumption. Students may be less likely to drink or sneak alcohol into school buildings or onto school property if they know they’re being watched. Video surveillance security cameras or IP video surveillance security cameras (which provide higher resolution images) can be mounted in areas where students may be drinking surreptitiously or in general areas used for school events. These areas may include school hallways, the gym, parking lots, stairways, and any secluded areas, as well as outside entrance/exit doors and around the football stadium or other sports fields. Surveillance cameras enable you to catch students who are drinking or intoxicated, so appropriate disciplinary action can be taken. At Conzer Security Inc., we understand your goal is to provide a safe environment for your students that is conducive to learning or is used for wholesome entertainment. While the above steps may not entirely solve the problem of underage drinking, they can help drastically reduce some of the problems schools may face. Plus, these steps can send the message that your school administration, parents and community does not tolerate student alcohol consumption.

To learn more about video surveillance security cameras and other security solutions that Conzer Security offers, contact us at 317-580-9460. We would be happy to help you find the right security solution for your Indiana school.


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