Prom: Dress is not most important decision

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 23, 2004

Tribune editorial staff

It was prom night for Laura - a moment for which she had been waiting all of her life.

As difficult as it might be to believe, everything leading up to the big night had been perfect. She was able to find the dress of her dreams almost immediately. The boy she had a crush on since she was in grade school had finally asked her out, and to the prom, no less.

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She was excited, her parents were excited and, in her mind, nothing could keep this from being the best night of her life.

When David picked her up - in his uncle's Corvette - she felt like Cinderella on the night her prince brought her glass slipper home to her. She was on top of the world.

They ate a delicious meal at a classy restaurant and proceeded to the dance, where Laura had the time of her life.

Unfortunately, she never made it home to tell her parents about her wonderful evening.

You see, David and Laura stopped by one of their classmate's house for a party after the prom. They chose to drink alcohol, and David had too much. On the way home, David lost control of that shiny, red Corvette and wrapped it around a telephone pole and Laura was killed instantly.

Although this is a fictitious story, sadly, similar scenarios play out each year at prom time. Across the nation, parents will be left grieving because their children made a bad decision - drinking alcohol and getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.

It is our duty, as parents, to talk to our children about the dangers of alcohol all year long, but prom season is an ideal time. These young men and women may have an opportunity to attend a party after the prom, but a simple talk may turn them to other options.

Ironton students, for example, have the option to attend a safe after-prom party at Spare Time Recreation. Plenty of activities will be available to entertain them all night long. Other schools will offer similar events.

Students will be faced with a multitude of choices this prom season, such as what kind of dress or tuxedo to wear, but none is as important as choosing to remain sober. Don't ruin what could be the night of your life by making a life-altering decision.