Randolph-Henry to host after-prom party

Published 1:05 pm Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Randolph-Henry High School (R-HHS) is throwing an after-prom party for students who choose to attend prom April 22.

Charlotte County Public Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Nancy Leonard said the after-prom event is designed to give students a safe alternative over parties that occur off of school grounds — which could involve alcohol.

“The after-prom party occurs at the same site as the prom which helps to keep students from driving to various parties, which we hope increases the safety of students,” Leonard said.

She added many parents and businesses offer monetary and prize donations for the event, where students have the opportunity to dance to music provided by a DJ.

The after-prom party, which is sponsored by R-HHS, is supervised by school staff and begins immediately after prom, lasting until 2 a.m.

Event coordinator Erin Davis said the school asks for donations throughout the year so organizers can raffle off exciting prizes, rent large inflatables, purchase games and treat students to music and food.

“Students who attend the R-HHS after prom are guaranteed a night free from drugs, alcohol and peer pressure,” Davis said. “There are so many statistics out there that tell us our teens are dying on prom night, and it is our responsibility to do everything we can to provide students with a safe environment.”

Davis said planning an event like the after- prom requires a great deal of thought and balance, given that they want students to stay at the school until the parties are nearing end but want them to be alert enough to drive home. She said the pressure for teenagers to drink, partake in drugs and do other dangerous activities is strong.

“In order to compete, we must do whatever it takes to design a night that students cannot resist staying for,” Davis said. “I am very proud of what we are doing for our students at Randolph-Henry, and I wish similar events existed when I was a teenager.”

She said she was grateful to the community for the donations and to faculty and volunteers for the time they spend on the event. According to Davis, the after-prom participants doubled and no student died in 2016 on prom night.

“I can’t think of any job more important than keeping our students safe,” Davis said. “It is at the heart of what we do and I hope that this is something we can continue for many years to come.”

According to Centers for Disease Control (CDC), excessive drinking is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths among underage youth each year. In a 2015 CDC Youth Risk Behavior survey, during the month prior to the survey, 33 percent of high students polled said they’d drank some amount of alcohol, 18 percent binge drank, 8 percent drove after drinking and 20 percent rode with a driver who had been drinking.

The CDC cites ways to reduce underage drinking, including community-based efforts to monitor activities of the youth, much like the school’s after-prom.