ROXBURY, NJ – As it did last year, the Roxbury Police Department this week used social media to send a message to Roxbury High School students attending the June 17 senior prom, urging them to "make good decisions."
Using its Facebook page, the department reminded prom-goers that its officers were once in their shoes and know all about the temptation to cut loose. It said those urges can quickly lead to trouble.
"Here at the Police Department we are all very excited for you," said the post. "It’s such a fun time in your life and we want you to enjoy every minute of Prom. We know you don’t understand it now, but these are the good ole’ days. Ask any officer here and they will be able to tell you who they went with, what house they went to for pictures and where they finally ended up after the prom was over."
The goal of the department was apparent: Make sure that the final, post-prom destination for Roxbury students isn't jail, the hospital or the morgue.
"You will be put in very difficult situations," the police said. "We understand how hard this night may be, we get it, we were standing right where you are now … peer pressure is real and it sucks. On Prom night everyone wants to be included in all the fun. Everyone wants to fit in. Everyone is afraid to say “No."
But the department, asking parents to share its post with their children, assured the students that "all that stuff doesn’t matter" within days after the prom's conclusion, unless they make a bad decision.
"No one is going to remember you said ‘no’ to getting into a car with your friend who had a few drinks," said the police. "No one is going to remember you passed on the drugs or drinking. No one is going to remember you and your friend slip out of the party quietly and had Mom pick you up. Trust us, no one is going to remember that stuff."
The consequences of taking the other route - doing risky or illegal things - can be quite the opposite, warned the police.
They promised the students that "everyone will remember all the bad choices that were made that night," adding, "That stuff will stick with you…forever. Bad things, horrific things have a very unique way of never going away. Poor choices will change your life forever."
The police asked prom-goers to help each other "make good decisions" and asked them to call their parents, or the police department, if they need help. "We won’t judge," they said. "We just want you safe, we are parents too. Have a great time and please be safe. Do us a favor, give Mom and Dad a hug when you leave, tell them you love them and promise that you’ll be smart and that you’ll do the right thing … and don’t look away till you see the smile on their face.”
Monday on Purpose
As it did for the past two years, the high school administration scheduled this year's prom for a Monday night. School officials implemented this as an attempt to circumvent students using the event as a launching pad for a weekend of debauchery.
"In past years, students have used the senior prom as a reason to acquire rooms at a motel(s) at the New Jersey shore for a weekend of unsupervised activities, including underage consumption of alcohol, use of controlled dangerous substances and co-ed cohabitation," wrote former Roxbury High School Principal Jeffrey Swanson in a letter to parents when the move to Monday’s began.
He said moving the prom to a Monday was "an effort to discourage the 'linkage' between a one-night formal dance and a weekend of bacchanalian activities."
To read the full message from the police department, click here.
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