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It's Prom and Senior Ball Season; Local Teens Advocate Against Drinking and Driving

Scott Willis

  As the school year winds down, there’s a renewed effort to prevent alcohol-related accidents among teenagers.   Prom season is here, and with it comes a series of questions for area teens:  What to wear? Who to ask? Limo or no limo? But perhaps most importantly, how to handle the question of alcohol. The Prevention Network’s Philip Rose says students have come to see drinking and prom as linked.

" You have these big proms and balls, which are a very adult rite of passage. Somehow it gets hooked in people's minds 'While that's what adults do when they have a formal event, they all sit around and drink.' There is a way that is a false message for young people but that is how they pick up on it."

West Genesee senior Katie Clancy acknowledges that there is pressure to drink, but insist that there are alternatives.

"I think a lot of kids associate prom and ball automatically to alcohol. A lot of kids feel pressured even if they don't do it regularly because 'It's prom I have to drink' but you don't have to give into that pressure."

Casey Rogers, a junior at Westhill high school says, "It is a big problem in our society today and I have seen a couple of my friends do some stupid stuff because of bad decisions they made with alcohol and drugs. I just want to help out and see what I can do to stop that from happening to other kids."  

Mary Washburn is a Westhill senior; "Pressure is definitely apart of high school, honestly it just is. It is hard to deny that fact, but it is about choices that you make and that is all that really is."

The students want parents to have honest conversations with their kids, and urge their peers to ask for help when they need it.

Rogers states, "I know it is hard to trust kids our age. If your kid is saying that he doesn't drink or doesn't do drugs, try to find a way to trust them. I think that if a parent trusts their kids it is a lot less stress on them on prom and ball night."

Katie Clancy says, " If you do find yourself in a situation where even you are drinking or one of your friends goes to far, don't be afraid to call for help."

Alice Gavin states "Always know that has a license to pick you up. Even if it is not your parents, just know someone that you can trust."

Credit Scott Willis, WAER News
Westhill Senior Mary Washburn and Junior Casey Rogers are urging their peers not to drink and drive.

For more information on addressing underage drinking,visit

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at