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Grad Night Safety Requires Smart Parenting

ask_sgt_harris_lgSometimes high school graduation night can mean Pomp and (dire) Circumstance when celebrations get out of control.

“We know it’s a time of celebration for many teenagers and young adults who have completed their high school, and we know they’re going to celebrate. We just want them to celebrate responsibly and make good sound decisions,” said Sgt. Darren Harris, Santa Clarita Valley Station, Crime Prevention Unit (photo: right).

Starting last Friday and all this week local area high schools will be holding graduation at College of the Canyons. After the mortarboards fly and keepsake photos are taken, teenagers will think about celebrating.

That’s when, according to the L.A County Sheriff’s Department, parents need to be smart. Especially when holding a party.

“Certainly we would not condone serving alcohol to minors. That’s against the law. Not only liability wise, but from a legal, criminal perspective they can open themselves up to all sorts of criminal and potentially civil liabilities,” said Harris.

In order to maintain control of their parties, Harris says parents need to know how their teenagers sent out invitations.

“Certainly with the social media, social networking we can have incidents where parties get much larger than the host anticipated and/or uninvited guests can show up and that can create problems,” said Harris.

Parents also should have a contingency plan in place in case they become aware of drugs and alcohol use at the party.


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And, if parents or teens have forgotten, there is still a curfew law in effect for teenagers under the age of eighteen. Harris has a simple suggestion for parents:

“Make sure that their young adults under the age of 18 are home prior to curfew or at another place they intend to stay. That way we can avoid them getting into any type of trouble after 10 p.m. at night,” said Harris.

This advice will be especially pertinent since the Sheriff’s department will be holding several DUI checkpoints this week.

“If you’re a teenager you shouldn’t be drinking at all. Those who are drinking and celebrating, involving alcohol in their celebration, need to do so responsibly. We do ask that they do so responsibly and don’t drink and drive of course,” said Harris.

Not every student can be Valedictorian, but Sheriff’s deputies believe smart, safe graduates will always go to the head of the class.

“We want our teens and young adults to certainly celebrate their milestone, but we want them to do it in a safe and responsible manner,” said Harris.