Mary Ticknor: Prom and graduation celebratioms must remain safe and festive

As Lemont High School students enter the homestretch of the 2012-13 school year, learning remains our top priority. However, upcoming nonacademic milestone events — including prom and graduation — will supply students with lifelong memories.

Prom activities and graduation parties generate a lot of fun, but unfortunately, some students make poor choices during these festivities by consuming alcoholic beverages or partaking in drug use. The combination of driving and drinking or drug use is a frightening thought for all of us, especially when it involves young people.

Although this concern is with us throughout the year, it is heightened during April and May. Lemont High School takes a number of steps to encourage our students to enjoy themselves safely and responsibly.

Thanks in part to a grant from the Lemont High School Educational Foundation, all Lemont High School students will take part in our annual Pre-Prom Assembly. This event features a guest speaker whose message is a strong reminder to students about the need to consider both the consequences of their actions and the benefits of making healthy choices.

After our newest graduates cross the stage on May 24, Project Graduation will provide them with an all-night outing that is both safe and fun. Held on campus, Project Graduation is organized by parents, faculty and members of the community, and is intended not only to provide a good time, but also to reduce the chance of any student being involved in an alcohol- or drug-related accident.

Parents, community members and local businesses are encouraged to consider donating food, drawing prizes, money or time to help make Project Graduation a night to remember.

Adults who furnish alcohol to minors face criminal and civil liability. As a form of preventive public service, Lemont High School and the Lemont Police Department have partnered to provide parents and community members an avenue to report suspected underage consumption if they become aware of a party at which alcohol will be served. Please contact Detective Dan Dykshorn at 630-243-3229 to report such activities or to ask related questions.

The ending of the school year, and the sense of accomplishment it provides, puts everyone in a festive mood. We appreciate the support from our parents and the Lemont community as they help us provide our students with safe, responsible year-end celebrations.

Mary Ticknor is superintendent of Lemont High School District 210