YORKTOWN, N.Y. — Before prom dresses are bought and tuxedos are fitted, Yorktown officials and community members are making sure students stay safe and parents stay informed for many high school seniors’ most anticipated evening.
Now mandatory for the second year, both the Yorktown senior looking to purchase a ticket as well as one parent are required to attended a prom panel.
Lisa Tomeny of the Alliance for Safe Kids (ASK), working to co-host the event, commended Yorktown High School Principal Joseph DeGennaro for making the prom panel mandatory. In previous years it was not.
“It’s really an important conversation we need to have, because statistics and numbers speak for themselves. Every year there are issues related to this time of the year, and this is a great opportunity to get out information and inform the students,” Tomeny said.
The event, titled “What Every Parent and Student Should Know About Prom and Graduation Season” will be presented by ASK, the Yorktown High School Parent Teacher Student Association and the high school from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday evening.
According to Tomeny, the goal is for students to learn about some of the dangers that can arise related to prom. Experts will also discuss ways to prevent problems. Members of the panel include the emergency department director for Northern Westchester Hospital, the assistant district attorney for Westchester County, a detective within the Yorktown Police Department and other guests including Yorktown High School students who will act out scenarios to be analyzed by the panel.
Davia Bugge, the student assistance counselor at the high school, emphasized Tomeny’s goal of informing students as well as their parents, and to have the conversation continue at home.
“We want to make sure they all have the information to hear about the potential legal and health consequences from the use of substances, since we know risk goes up around this time,” Bugge said. “It’s important for the parents to be there, because we can have the family really be the start of conversations about these things.”