Message to Cranford HS About Prom Safety

Cranford High School hosted Prom Safety with guest speakers Mike Litterer of Prevention Links and Lieutenant Wozniak of the Cranford Police Department.

February 2013

Dear Cranford High School Parents, Guardians and Students,

Thank you to all of the parents and students who attended last week’s meeting on Prom Safety. For those that could not attend, below are some highlights from the meeting provided by Lieutenant Wozniak, Cranford Police Department, and Mr. Michael Litterer, Program Director at Prevention Links:

• Do not serve or provide alcohol to teens. It’s illegal, unsafe and irresponsible. Parent’s who serve kids or provide unsupervised opportunities for them to drink are subject to criminal and civil liabilities and subject teens to many potential dangers.

o Fact #1 It is illegal in New Jersey to serve alcohol to anyone who is under the legal drinking age of 21 (NJSA 2C:33‐17a).

o Fact #2 It is illegal in New Jersey to make your home or property available for the purpose of allowing anyone who is under the legal drinking age of 21 a place to consume alcohol (NJSA 2C:33‐17b).

o Fact #3 Any person who serves or makes alcohol available to a person under the legal drinking age of 21 is subject to a $1,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail per person served. Parents can be held civilly liable even if they are not present during the time of the party (NJSA 2C:33- 17).

• Talk to your children about drugs and alcohol. Parents have the biggest influence on children's attitudes regarding alcohol and drugs.

o Provide a consistent message for your child where you clearly outline your expectations

o Know where your child is going and who your child is going with

o Establish consistent times to touch base with your child some may be by text but most should be by phone

o Explain the legalities of underage drinking

o Encourage your child to use the buddy system

• 15SEVEN21 means a child who begins drinking before the age of 15 is SEVEN times more likely to have alcohol dependency issues by the age of 21. This statistic is directly caused by the early introduction of alcohol.

• Studies have shown that the brain does not fully develop until 20-23 years old. The use of alcohol can inhibit brain development up to 32% depending on the stage of development when consumption occurs.

• Alcohol and drugs may result in uncharacteristic behaviors including making questionable choices about sexual behaviors that put their health and safety at risk.

• Automobile crashes are the leading cause of death among teens, and according to recent NHTSA (National Highway and Transport Safety Administration) figures, approximately 28% of traffic deaths of 15 to 20 year olds are alcohol-related.

• CALL 911 – The 911 Hold Harmless Law (P.L. 2009, c.133) Tell your child what to do in case of a medical emergency (e.g. alcohol poisoning).

Congratulations to all of the winners of the prom bids, limousine and JC and Crew Haircutters gift certificates. We thank the Cranford High School PTA, Cranford Board of Education, Cranford Municipal Alliance, Prevention Links and Cranford Police Department for their support and providing an informative evening with the goal of keeping our students safe. We wish you and your senior well and hope your celebrations will provide a lifetime of wonderful memories.

All my best,

Mr. Dionisio


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