District Attorney Marian Ryan donates $500 to the Natick High School after prom party.
District Attorney Marian Ryan donates $500 to the Natick High School after prom party.

Responsible Behavior Urged As Prom Season Approaches
March 25th, 2015

District Attorney Marian Ryan Will Speak To High School Students,

WOBURN – Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan is scheduled to speak to students, parents, and faculty, concerning making good choices as the prom season approaches. In the next several months, District Attorney Ryan and members of her staff will speak at schools across the county, including Somerville High School, Lincoln Sudbury Regional High School, and Ashland High School, and at a meeting of the Middlesex League Principals.

“As wonderful as the prom, the parties, and graduation will be, our concern at this time of year is that some teenagers will make bad choices and something tragic will happen,” says District Attorney Ryan. “The reason I have spoken and continue to speak at school assemblies is because this is the time of year when all students need to be encouraged to have a plan to keep themselves and their friends safe. They need to make good choices and to be smart about how they will handle situations where alcohol or drugs are present.”

In addition to speaking to students, District Attorney Ryan and her staff will educate parents on the state’s Social Host Liability laws and the important role parents play in keeping their children safe during this exciting time of year.

At an afternoon assembly on Tuesday, March 24, District Attorney Ryan spoke to several hundred teenagers at Natick High School saying, “Prepare for these days. Think about what you will do if you are in a situation where people are drinking and making poor decisions. People make mistakes and they make bad choices. What we are asking of you is to not make a bad choice worse. Don’t get in a car with someone who is drunk. Don’t leave your friend behind. Help yourself and help that friend get out of a bad situation.”

District Attorney Ryan spoke about the dangers of distracted and impaired driving. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S. District Attorney Ryan provided Natick High students with examples of cases in recent years of teenagers who died after getting in a vehicle with a drunk driver. She emphasized that to drive safely, a person has to be sober because driving requires “thinking, looking, and physically being able to operate” a vehicle. Distracted or impaired driving severely impacts a person’s ability to drive safely and causes them to be more likely to harm themselves and others.

During the speech at Natick High, District Attorney Ryan also presented a check for $500 to Students Against Drunk Driving to help pay expenses for a school-sponsored after-prom party. For the second year in a row, District Attorney Ryan is offering a donation to Middlesex County school districts to support substance-free post-prom and post-graduation events for high school students. The donations are funded through drug forfeiture money. Applications are available on the District Attorney’s website: http://middlesexda.com/prevention/Drug-Forfeiture-Sponsorship-Program.php Applications are due May 1.

The attached photograph shows SADD board members receiving the check yesterday from District Attorney Ryan. The seniors photographed are, from left to right, Abby Northgraves, Anna Pearson, Natasha Amaravadi, and Jake Whitney.

The pre-prom assemblies and social host liability presentations are offered to school districts by the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, Inc., (MPY). Working in collaboration with the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, MPY endeavors to provide solution-oriented, community-based, multi-disciplinary approaches to reducing and ideally eliminating risky behaviors for young people.

The following events are among those District Attorney Ryan is scheduled to speak at before the end of the school year:

• April 29 Somerville High School student assembly

• April 30 Middlesex League Principals’ meeting, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Woburn

• May 11 Lincoln Sudbury Regional High School parents’s meeting, topic: “Social Host Liability”

• May 12 Ashland High School meeting for parents’ meeting, topic: “Social Host Liability”