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The After-The-Prom Party

Updated on June 5, 2009

Remember your prom? Remember what you did after your prom?

Did you have a safe, supervised event to go to, and was your transportation safe getting there? And getting back?

Uh-huh.

According to after-the-prom.org (see link below) 48 teenagers die and over 5,000 are injured during prom weekend in the United States, largely due to drunk driving. Food for thought, I think.

In our town and other towns around the United States, parents have done something about the dangers of what happens after the prom, other than engaging in ineffectual lecturing or imposing unheeded restrictions. These parents have created a safe, fun place for their children to go have fun after the prom. Yes, and I mean fun, because if it isn't fun, guess what? The kids won't go.

Components of Success

Like most initiatives that require willing participation, the after-the-prom party (ATPP) works on the principles of incentive and motivation. Here in Brookline, Massachusetts, the community and high school work together to provide these elements, thereby gaining a participation rate close to one hundred percent.

Here are the incentives:

  • Booths giving away food and candy, some sponsored by local businesses frequented by students
  • Free commemorative T-shirts
  • Multiple comfortable places to sit, stand, dance, walk around or lie down
  • Many fun activities such as fortune telling, photo booths, little electric bikes to ride around on, more, more, more
  • A wildly decorated venue
  • Movies and music the kids like

Here are the motivations:

  • All other after-prom parties are discouraged
  • Any student caught drinking (or using other drugs) on school property or at the prom is banned from the graduation ceremony
  • The after-the-prom party is fun enough to attract an overwhelming majority of the students, leaving almost no one left to party independently with

Additional factors:

  • The school community is behind this effort one hundred percent. Parents are discouraged from staging competing activities and most years cooperation is at one hundred percent. The PTO funds, organizes, and solicits volunteers for decorating, chaperoning, and take-down.
  • The high school has a policy of letting the kids make their own decisions. For example, high school students who smoke may do so at a designated place on school property. As a result of this policy and the general investing of students with the freedom of personal responsibility, there is almost never any instance of smoking inside any of the school buildings even on the coldest, nastiest days.
  • Transportation is provided from the prom to the ATPP
  • The school educates the kids about the dangers of unbridled debauchery and strongly encourages attending the ATPP
  • Backpacks are prohibited at the ATPP

The After-The-Prom Party is a great and fun way to keep your kids out of danger while celebrating youth and the end of high school at and around the Senior Prom.  Best of luck in creating yours. 

Comments

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    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom rubenoff 

      7 years ago from United States

      Well see now I almost wish I didn't have a prom, so we are kind of in the same boat.

    • profile image

      Urbancore 

      7 years ago

      Dint av a prom.wnt 2an al boiz seminary skul.lukin bak nw,i'd sae we misd out on prom fun!

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      That's a great one, Ixxy. And thanks for 'falsieness' I'll definitely use it someplace.

    • lxxy profile image

      lxxy 

      9 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

      Very good information! A high school (private and catholic, though thats besides the point) around here staged a realistic car crash near its school grounds before prom. The students were unaware of it's falsieness (yep, its a new word, you can use it too!) but they had just lost two other classmates a couple of weeks before from driving too fast and drunk.

      I do believe none of the teenagers on their prom night had trouble with this issue after that.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      Kushal, I am not sure India is missing anything by not having proms.

      Sounds like you had a great time, Candie, and we're all glad you got home safe.

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 

      9 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      I had an 11pm curfew on my prom night..we (3 couples) went out on my dates boat, drank daquiris like crazy went to the dance, then he took me home. Dull end to a fun begining..but I was safe. Thank you Tom!

    • Kushal Poddar profile image

      Kushal Poddar 

      9 years ago from Kolkata,India

      Here, in India, alas we do not have proms.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      My prom was awful, but it was what it was, Blondepoet.

    • blondepoet profile image

      blondepoet 

      9 years ago from australia

      I never had a prom Tom...wow that rhymed....I feel cheated.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      Don't scare me, Frieda! Just kidding, kiddo. Thank you

    • Frieda Babbley profile image

      Frieda Babbley 

      9 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      Fantastic hub, Tom! I'm moving to Massachusettes! Just kidding, don't worry. I'm passing this info on to everyone I can. Thanks for writing this.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      And here I was trying to reform my tarnished image. Thanks, MM! Be sure to come visit Westwood next February!

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 

      9 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Hi Tom! First, I guess I never read deep enough into your profile to know that you are a resident of Brookline. I knew about the Cape Cod ride but didn't connect the dots (or T stops, as it were). I just took a peek at your Tail of 2 T Stops.Must say, it brought back some memories (Westwood was where I earned the nickname "Slammie") and some nightmares (commuting in the snow).Shiver.

      Anyway, this is a wonderful idea for prom night. I like Storytellersrus' concept also. I think the dangers today are much greater even than when we were teens. More cars on the roads, texting in the car, a whole lot more drugs and more powerful drugs readily accessible to teens. I am so glad to read some positive news pertaining to young people!

      Bear in mind, tho, that this kind of G-rated activity is not doing a darned thing for your own wild man reputation:-). MM

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      Thanks, AIDY. I agree.

      I certain is glad yous gradjitated Rader.

    • raiderfan profile image

      raiderfan 

      9 years ago from Arizona

      dude I wood never have gradjewated if they had these rules

    • profile image

      Am I dead, yet? 

      9 years ago

      Never been to a prom in my life, but these are great community ideas Tom. This should be more widely promoted, seeing how so many incidents carelessly happen during prom season. Great hub.

    • Tom Rubenoff profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom rubenoff 

      9 years ago from United States

      Thank you very much Haunty.

      Randy, it's great that this is happening around the country.

      I think the ATPP is great prevention, Sixty.

      Hi Gypsy! Thank you.

      Storyteller, thank you for sharing your experience! The woman who has been chairing the ATPP here for years is likewise detailed and tireless, just like you. And just like you, her shoes will be hard to fill.

    • Storytellersrus profile image

      Barbara 

      9 years ago from Stepping past clutter

      Tom, what fun to read about your experience with this and compare notes.  I chaired my son's high school after prom for three years running!  It was a lot of work and I had a huge committee of 60-70 people each year.  I trained someone to take my place as chair during the second and third years and due to the intensity of the preparations, she and I are best buds now.

      We couldn't have it at the school so we researched all the local possibilities and found a wonderful friend in Debbie, the manager at a local Brunswick Zone.  She agreed to shut the bar down early and put on the smoke suckers so that the space would be pretty much smoke free and to kick all the bowlers out at 11:00. She provided pizza and all the pop the kids could drink and also employees to assist the kids.  Laser Tag, bowling, pool tables were all free.  The kids had to pay if they wanted to play the video games because those were actually not owned by BZ but by another vender who rents the space.

      We set up a Casino Room manned by parents and a karaoke room in the lounge for seniors only.  We had a DJ who was loads of fun and inspired the kids to come up and sing.  Both of these rooms had prizes- although Colorado has strict gambling laws and so everyone won a chance to pick a number and win the prize labeled with that number. We also did a balloon arch and themed the party according to the Junior Class directive- secret of course, until the week of ticket sales.

      The kids were locked in- our Principal manned the door until 2:30, when the kids were free to go home.  By then, they were pretty exhausted but could drive.

      It's been so successful that it is repeated each year and brings in over 90% of all the kids. The cost is included in the Prom Ticket price which encourages parents to encourage their kids to attend.  Surprisingly to me anyway, we have had parents who think its fine for their kids to rent a hotel room and drink, as long as they don't go anywhere.  I am not of that mindset!

      Thanks for giving me an opportunity to reminisce.  It was a wonderful time in my life- two years ago I chaired my last AP, lol.  I earned the Volunteer of the Year award that year, haha.  Nearly died of shock and embarassment but it meant lots to me.

      You are the best.  Thanks again for writing this Hub. Wow, I wrote a lot. Sorry. You really pushed my buttons on this one, haha.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      9 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Excellent idea! Hope it catches on here.

    • sixtyorso profile image

      Clive Fagan 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      What a great idea. We have the same problem here and invariably some kids will die in an alcohol related car wreck. The Matric dance is fine it is the after party that is the problem, not to mention the alcohol induced sex leading innocents (no prevention) to getting pregnant!

    • Randy Behavior profile image

      Randy Behavior 

      9 years ago from Near the Ocean

      Around here they have "Safe and Sober" parties, but I think they are for graduation. Another "kids die" night. They didn't start till after I was out to school, but all the schools around here do it.

    • Haunty profile image

      Haunty 

      9 years ago from Hungary

      That's great. I hope more and more schools adapt this practice.

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