SPARTANBURG COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – Prom season has begun in the Upstate but it’s also a time when one third of all alcohol related teen traffic deaths happen. An AAA study finds 40 percent of teens say they’ll drink or use drugs on prom night, too, despite what they tell their parents.
Monday one Upstate school worked hard to prevent that, encouraging teens to make a prom promise.
If it were as simple as a quick reminder not to drink or drive intoxicated, the first responders who’ve seen real life scenerios of Monday’s re-enactment would not go to such lengths.
They pulled out the jaws of life, even, ripping apart a car to make jaws drop enough so the teens could soak in the message.
Laurie Lee also spoke to the High Point Academy teens.
The Spartanburg mom lost her son Josh in a crash.
“I visit his gravesite every Friday,” she said in tears.
Parents like Jenna Andrews recognize how important, but delicate it is to achieve the balance of trust and supervision.
It is kind of difficult because you do want to let them know that you trust them,” said Andrews.
Her daughter, Emily, said “It makes me feel good that she trusts me to make the right decision, and so because of that I will make the right decision.”
Still, parenting experts advocate a multi-step plan for “prom proofing” your teen.
“This is not about trust, this is about temptation,” said Joani Geltman, author of a Survival Guide To Parenting Teens.
She recommends a 6-step plan that includes everything from locking up the booze to scripting out what to say when they feel peer pressure, to staying up on prom night.
Creating a pre-prom safety plan is a also smart move.
Something like texting a code word or letter that lets a parent know you have to get your child out of an uncomfortable situation.
No parents ever sees the worst coming, but facing what could and does happen, is a big step to preventing it from happening to your child.