Upcoming Proms Prompt Parents To Talk Safety - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/22/08

Upcoming Proms Prompt Parents To Talk Safety

Prom season is underway on the South Plains, and many parents are taking the opportunity to talk to their children about staying safe. This comes after two Floydada High School students were killed in an after prom accident.

Dylan Thomas, 15, and Tanner Sue, 17, died after a Chevy Avalanche flipped on County Road 91, West of Floydada. Nolan Armstrong, 18, was driving the vehicle at the time. Authorities are investigating to see if alcohol and speed may have caused Armstrong to lose control of the vehicle. Drew Carthe, 17, and Chris Hayter, 18, were also injured. Friends tell us the teens had left a party that followed Lockney's High School prom. Armstrong and Carthel have been released from the hospital. Hayter remains in critical condition at Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock.

In the Lubbock area prom season gets underway this weekend with Lubbock High School's prom. Coronado and Plainview follow with dances planned for next weekend, just to name a few. In addition, the tragic accident near Floydada has highlighted the importance of safety on prom weekend.

 "On the front page of the paper this morning, say to my son, I hope you're paying attention, I hope you're reading these stories. You know, it is not an abstract problem that your parents are worried about. It's very real," senior parent Betsy Jones said.  Jones says the death of two Floyd county teens is a painful reality of what can happen when things go wrong on prom night.

"You can't help but look at that and think that could be my child," Jones added.

It is a shared concern at Frenship High School, where parents are now planning prom. Parent and prom Chairperson Carrie Britton says to ensure Tiger Prom is alcohol free, extra security and parents will be on hand.

"We even have somebody standing by the bathrooms just to make sure that, there's not a lot of stuff going on in there. Once they get into the prom they are not allowed to leave at all," Britton said. 

 However, it's once students leave prom that alcohol typically mixes with prom night.

"Alcohol is never a problem at prom, it's the after-party," Lubbock High School Assistant Principal for Student Activities Rickey Woody said.

Woody says officers will be at LHS prom. However, it is not uncommon for them to drop in on after-prom parties.

"TABC drops in unannounced and they tend to find out where parties are they show up at those things even," Woody added.

So to make sure her son does not end up at an after-prom party with alcohol, Jones says she's planning a smaller at home party.

"I personally have made the offer to my child, bring everybody to our house after the party and I'll cook breakfast and I've heard lots of my friends make the same offer," Jones said.

Investigators are looking into where some Floyd county teen may have gotten alcohol. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has not resealed any suspects.

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