Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

As Wayne Seniors Gear Up for Prom, Officials Raise Vigilance

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

As Wayne Seniors Gear Up for Prom, Officials Raise Vigilance

Article excerpt

WAYNE -- Twelfth-graders are in final preparations for the big event -- the senior prom -- and so are school, community and police monitors, who are reminding parents that they also bear responsibility for ensuring that no trouble comes along after the fun.

The high school senior proms will take place at The Grove in Cedar Grove, Wayne Valley on Thursday and Wayne Hills on June 16.

There will be about 20 chaperones from the school district at each prom, paid with stipends. In addition, the school district usually asks that a police officer be present outside.

Anyone suspected of having consumed alcohol before the prom will be barred.

"Overall, the Wayne police in partnership with the respective school staff of chaperones make every effort to ensure that participants in the prom are monitored for any signs of alcohol or drug usage and will take the appropriate steps to maintain an alcohol- and drug-free environment at the dinner dance," said Wayne police Capt. Laurence Martin.

However, he added, "What happens after the actual prom event rests solely in the hands of parents or responsible adults to hold up their end of the bargain to step up, to monitor the after-prom parties, to intervene if alcohol or narcotics are suspected wherever the recent graduates go."

Township police Detective and Student Resource Officer Mark DuBois, who works out of Wayne Hills, agrees that that's when the potential looms for problems. But fellow police Detective and SRO Mike Zaccone, who works out of Wayne Valley, said, "After parties are always questionable, yes, but lately, it seems the kids are looking to stay at the prom and have fun together for the last time as a class."

Education on the dangers of alcohol and drugs begins in the fifth grade with the district's Transition Program and continues through high school, where students use fatal vision glasses to experience what drunken driving is like along with the Stone Cold and drug forums. …

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