Safe, Sober Prom Veers Students Away From Becoming A Statistic

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Prom night happens once in a lifetime.

To keep the last big party before graduation safe and memorable, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and the Payson schools prevention program are hosting two chaperoned after-prom activities.

"Kids are always looking for something unique and fun to do," said Abigail Pederson, Payson Unified School District prevention specialist and the event coordinator. "This is about keeping the good kids safe. And the kids who don't want to participate are putting themselves at risk."

Sawmill Theatres offers Payson High School students attending prom, two late-night movies, beginning at 12:30 a.m. The cost is $5 a person, $10 a couple.

Tickets include a free small popcorn and small drink with a school identification. Students are welcome to purchase movie tickets beforehand from Mrs. Pederson or Ms. Judd until Friday, April 29.

The lights go down and neon is aglow for a midnight post-prom round of Laser Bowl at Rim Country Lanes. The cost, $5 a person or $10 a couple, includes shoe rental. Don't strike out -- promgoers should reserve a lane early on.

SADD and the schools prevention programs are asking parents and adults to lend their support. Chaperones are needed between midnight and 2:30 a.m. at both locations. Those unable to chaperone are asked to donate money to defray theatre costs.

"The bowling alley is not requesting donations," said Pederson. "But they are offering laser bowl at a discounted rate as a benefit to SADD and the prevention program."

Parents can help by getting involved, and encouraging their children to attend either one of the post-prom activities while talking frankly about the dangers of drinking and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

If teens don't want to attend the school-sanctioned functions, Pederson suggested throwing a safe, alcohol and drug-free supervised after-prom party.

"Kids are going to meet the expectations to set for them," said Pederson. "If you expect your child to be safe and not use substances, they'll rise to that expectation."

For more information, contact Pederson at (928) 474-2070, ext. 2042 or SADD at (877) SADD-INC. or visit their website at www.sadd.org.

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