Homecoming safety

Homecoming is an annual tradition where Eastern Polk residents and those within Southeast Polk come together to welcome back alumni and former residents. It’s often a rite of passage for high school students, and one that often involves alcohol with pressure for those underage to drink. The Pleasant Hill Police Department encourages parents to talk with their children about illegal drinking and the dangers it can cause.

As students get ready for the big game and dance, parents can use these actions to prevent underage drinking.

Discuss your expectations about alcohol use
Have regular conversations with your teen about alcohol misuse, and specifically talk about it before events, like homecoming, where alcohol may be present.

Find out who your teen will be with and talk with the other students’ parents
Ask whether adults will be present if teens come by after the official event and consider the other family’s attitude toward underage drinking. Some parents choose to provide alcohol to teens in their home. Asking questions may help keep your teen safe.

Provide a sober after-party space
Many students want the night to continue after the game or dance ends. Providing an alcohol-free environment allows the party to keep going safely. And it’s important for parents to actively supervise after-parties. Even if an adult didn’t supply or know about booze, they can be held responsible if minors are later caught drinking.

Offer to drive or pay for a limo
Providing a guaranteed designated driver ensures your teen won’t end up in a car with an intoxicated person behind the wheel. Driving your child or using a car service also removes other risks, such as texting or distracted driving, which may increase with the excitement of the evening.

Let your teen know you are “on call”
No matter what, some students will choose to drink during homecoming. While parents should not condone underage drinking, it’s important for teens to know they can call for help if they or their friends don’t have a safe ride or are in danger.