Linden High students asked to be responsible on Prom Night

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Prom night at high schools is always one of the most memorable events of student’s lives. Unfortunately, in some cases, it is memorable because of a lapse in judgment. Linden High School took preventative measures Tuesday to make sure this weekend’s prom was a safe one for their students.

Linden High teacher Joe Johnson and others were able to get an Alabama State Trooper and Chief Deputy of the Marengo County Sheriff’s Department to open the eyes of their students to some of the problems that can arise. Johnson said they did not want to take the fun out of the night; they just wanted everyone to be safe.

“We just want them to be prepared to have a good time and use good judgment,” Johnson said. “We want them to have a good time of course, but we brought in Mr. Ward and Mr. Reese to help them plan a fun and safe night.”

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Johnson said they wanted to see all the seats of their classrooms full at the start of next week.

“We want everybody to have a good time,” Johnson said. “But come Monday morning we want to come in here and see their smiling faces just like they are right now.”

Corporal Rick Ward, with the Alabama Department of Public Safety, said students should remember to use their brain to make positive memories out of their prom.

While you are preparing for the prom this weekend you know this will be a night to remember for a lifetime,” Ward said. “I am here to remind to remember it for the right reasons.”

For many the prom is a final gathering. Ward said since this is the last time many of the students will be together they feel the need to make it memorable for all the wrong reasons. This can lead to tragedy.

“This will be the last time a lot of you seniors are together,” Ward said. “I don’t want you to remember this as a time when a friend was killed in a car wreck.”

Already this year17 people have been killed in Selma post. Ward said there was nothing worse than to be the one that informs the family of a death or accident.

“The worst pat of my job is to tell a loved one that their son or daughter was killed in a car wreck,” Ward said. “I don’t want to go to your mothers house in the middle of the night, look her dead in the eye and tell her you have been killed in a car wreck. Worse, I don’t want to tell her you are in jail because you have killed an innocent person.”

The warnings were delivered out of love and not as a threat. Ward asked the students to remember they were trying to protect them.

“They do what they do because they love you,” Ward said. “I do what I do because I love you. We have rules and those rules are to protect us. I am going to do my job of enforcing them because we want to keep you and we don’t want you to get hurt.”

Chief Deputy Tommie Reese said there were several dangers that surrounded prom night and a small lapse in judgment could haunt them for years.

“Our biggest worry about prom night is drinking and driving, drugs and safe sex,” Reese said. “Prom night is always linked to injuries and other problems. The actions that you take on prom night, if not the right ones, you will regret for a long time. I takes only a moment to do something that will cost you the rest of your life.”

Reese said they all had the ability to resist temptation and should do so. He also asked them to find a designated driver if they do give in.

“Don’t use drugs and don’t let anyone offer you drugs,” Reese said. “Don’t be afraid to call for a ride. If you are intoxicated do not be afraid to call someone for a ride.”

The students of LHS have proven their character many times. Reese asked them to prove they are good citizens once again this weekend.

“You all have good character and the ability to act responsibly,” Reese said. “Your actions on prom night can cost you so be responsible.”