Why should I behave responsibly on prom night?

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Alyssa Seaton

“I want to live. I want to laugh, listen to great music and dance.” Students were given a “Prom Promise” to sign the week leading into prom. Staff reporter Alyssa Seaton shares why prom should be alcohol and drug-free.

As juniors and seniors in high school, we take steps every day to becoming our own person and enter adulthood. These steps include getting jobs, beginning to pay bills–or at least parts of them–and paying for our own food when we go out. Sometimes include simply bad decisions like drinking, vaping, smoking or drugs.

Recently, we received a “Prom Promise” to sign. The white paper holds the words, “I commit to an alcohol and drug-free prom night because I care about my fellow students, my community and myself.”  This leads to the question, “Why?” Why should we keep prom a clean environment when it is supposed to be a highlight of our high school careers?

My question for you is, how will you get to and from prom? You may take a limo, carpool with a group or drive yourself. Whatever you choose, you have to be on the road at some point, and that ride becomes dangerous when you or the drivers around you are under the influence. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 24,666 DUI-alcohol-related crashes in Texas in the last year. In these crashes, 900 people were killed and 2,152 people were severely injured. In 2019, 25% of all crash fatalities were caused by DUI-alcohol-related wrecks.

When you drive intoxicated, you endanger your life and the lives around you. In 2016. students created a fictional video in collaboration with the Texas Department of Transportation’s Amarillo District, “Every 15 Minutes” highlighting the harsh realities of D.U.I. wrecks. In this narrative students are involved in a crash in front of the school. One student is arrested and another dies. The surviving student lives with the physical consequences of driving intoxicated and the mental toll of ending a peer’s life.

Crosses and flowers sit at light posts and in highway gutters remembering the dead.”

— Alyssa Seaton, Staff Reporter

Unfortunately, this story of an accidental death involving intoxicated drivers is not fictional for everyone. Videos and articles scatter the internet of individuals who have lost friends and family to the irresponsibility of another. Crosses and flowers sit at light posts and in highway gutters remembering the dead.

At prom, you should be making memories with your friends and reaching another milestone in life, not ending the night with a final memory of a friend before their life is taken by their own or another’s irresponsible actions. As juniors and seniors becoming adults, we need to open our eyes to the harsh circumstances of life. Not to realize dangers and live in fear of what could happen, but to be aware that our actions have reactions. We can make decisions with the well-being of others–not only our immediate gratification–in mind. So, while you get ready for prom, when you have the option to get drunk or high, think about what could happen because of your actions. Those flowers and “In loving memory” could be for you. They could be for your best friend. They could be for me.