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Poll: Should Parents Host Prom Parties?

With prom season upon us, many teens are preparing for the big dance and making plans for places to hang out late night. Should parents allow them to party at their place if it includes alcohol?

Every year millions of teenagers primp and prep for the prom. In this area, various businesses are already advertising sales on gowns and tuxedos, transportation and flowers. Special fashion shows will be held and gown expos planned.

But what happens after the big dance?

It can be a struggle for parents who want to know that their children are safe. Do they allow their child and their child’s friends to crash at their place? Do they allow them to drink alcohol and take the car keys away?

In his regular informational blog on takes a moment to answer one parent’s question about the legalities of allowing his 18-year-old son to host an after-prom party at his home. Baron also addresses the question of whether the legal responsibility changes if the teens BYOB (bring their own beer/booze) versus if the parent provides the alcohol?

What do you think about the issue? Is it worth it to allow teens to drink in your home on prom night because you could keep them off the roads and safe? Tell us in the comment section and take the Patch Poll.

Sarah April 09, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Parents who host lose the most.
Mary Kay April 09, 2012 at 08:36 PM
No. The law is clear. The drinking age is 21.
Eric April 09, 2012 at 08:38 PM
If the parents are willing to take the risk of alcohol being consumed by minors on their property, they also assume the responsibiity of the consequences.
kristine April 09, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Seriously?! Do you even need to ask that question now and days? If a parent does this then shame on them!! I personally hope that if they did, they get arrested for serving alcohol to minors.
Toni Federici April 09, 2012 at 10:43 PM
I definitely agree! However since there seems to be several people (7 answered yes in the poll, so far) who think it is fine to serve, then it obviously needs to be discussed! And clearly the ones who have answered yes are afraid to say why, because nobody has made a comment justifying their affirmative answer. Not too chicken to serve but too chicken to admit it huh? Why do teens need alcohol at a party? And why would parents/adults think it's OK to serve it? If I found out, my kids were served or even offered alcohol at a party, I would not ever hesitate to confront the hosts!
LMD April 10, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Is there any other answer? Don't people value their children's lives? Are they willing to take another's life in their own hands? Hasn't anyone learned from their children killing others? What horrible role models those parents are! They deserve all the punishment coming to them and then some--seriously!
Ann Lewis April 10, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Never!!
Andrew Ziemba April 10, 2012 at 12:44 AM
You are old enough to die for your country but not drink alcohol? You are old enough to smoke cigarettes but not drink alcohol? As soon as you turn 21 however, a magic switch turns on and it is OK to do it. I've always thought this was quite silly. Having an age limit on Alcohol is like requiring an age limit for sexual activity. You can't stop either no matter how many laws you come up with. People, or in this case, children, will do whatever they want whenever they want. NOTHING stops children from behaving irrationally except for good parents who raise their children correctly. While it may be astonishing and frightful to most of you, some day hopefully within your lifetimes, marijuana and alcohol will be decriminalized for that age group so that their lives won't be ruined by our corrupt prison system. Reading how all of you people are responding to this article, I would think you have never been a high school senior, never drank alcohol until you were 21, and if you did, you regretted it and have joined a crusade to rid alcohol from the world. I would imagine that having controlled consumption at home would be a much more reasonable alternative than the wild drunk driving insanity that is commonplace across the US on prom night. Then again, you would have to be a complete loser to be attending a prom night party anyway... isn't that when you are supposed to be making out with your date? Basically this article is pointless IMO.
Toni Federici April 10, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Andrew kudos to you for voicing your opinion.... questions: 1) Do you have kids? 2) If you do, how would you like someone allowing your child to drink too much, get out of control and possibly let them slip through the cracks and allow them to get in a car to drive home? Or get alcohol poisoning? 3) Adults who want to be "the cool parents" may be lacking judgement and be drinking themselves during the party, and not be able to monitor all the behavior going on at "drinking party"...how can you be certain your kids would be safe? 4) Would you let the parents of the kids attending know ahead of time that you were supplying alcohol? 5) "People, or in this case, children, will do whatever they want whenever they want. NOTHING stops children from behaving irrationally except for good parents who raise their children correctly." Do you realize that "good parenting" doesn't NOT include serving alcohol to minors at a party? 6) Do you realize you are wrong? But you may be popular.
Andrew Ziemba April 10, 2012 at 02:26 AM
I don't have kids. I am not going to have kids unless I will have the time to raise them properly. I believe the vast majority of Americans who have kids do NOT spend enough time with their children to raise them properly and teach them how to become good people. It seems like you are lumping everyone into groups. It's like saying that if I have a gun, I am going to be reckless with it. You can NEVER be certain that your kids will be safe. Alcohol is bad any way you look at it, but even an educated young person will try drinking before they are 21. Parents should decide what is best for their children. Introducing a senior in high school to alcohol would be beneficial if anything (assuming they plan to go to college.) In the state of Connecticut alcohol consumption is legal under the age of 21 on private non alcohol-selling premises, with parental consent. Your opinion is that I am wrong? That's fine. I don't believe that my views are all that popular either. There are too many people who feel that they should have control over others. People are power hungry by nature. Then again, there are a lot of things that are popular despite being extremely irrational, like the belief that some guy came back to life after being crucified and pushed a 5 ton (or was it 10 ton?) boulder out of his way so he could free himself from the cave he was entombed in. It's a funny world isn't it? This is why I respectfully say "mind your own business" to most things in life.
Megan April 10, 2012 at 12:19 PM
How many teenagers have to die in Simsbury summer after summer as a result of underage drinking and substance abuse before people take these issues more seriously? It is truly heartbreaking.
Ben Rodriguez April 10, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Given that a parent can go to jail my answer is no. But I would like to vote yes. Kids are going to party, we were kids once, let's stop pretending "the good old days" were so innocent. Providing a place where kids can go have fun while still knowing there's someone watching is hard but that is the best case scenario. Current laws try to push kids to celebrate in a controlled environment and I've heard mixed results. Sometimes it works great, other times kids leave and find a place where partying happens and things get out of hand. It's not an easy topic for sure but that's where I stand.
John Bolton April 10, 2012 at 02:19 PM
You have to be 18 with a high school education or GED to die for your country. Most kids at the prom dont meet any of that criteria. If you think the drinking age should be lowered or eliminated thats fine but change the legislation not ignore the current law. Its just as naive to think throwing one party for your kids is going to make them safe. I love the assumption that its either letting them drink or nothing else. How about instead of finding ways of enabling poor decisions parents and towns focus on actually giving kids something else to do? one reason why kids drink, is because the only thing open after 9 pm on a weekend (in at least the farmington valley) is bars. So its either go home and look for some way to amuse yourself or go out and try to get into a bar. Its pretty sad the complete lack of activities for young people to do in this area and the little support any alternative gets. Avon is the perfect example. The place is a ghost town on weekend evenings with kids having to resort to hanging out in mcdonalds parking lot. Perhaps giving some alternatives would at least interest a percentage of kids to find something else to do. Maybe some town sponsored music events (since you current have to go to bars to see music), or a sports facility open in the evening (they can't even get a basketball court), or free outdoor movies like canton started doing, at this point anything. So really what are kids supposed to do other than stay home or go out and cause trouble.
Blink April 10, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Andrew, a woman is old enough at the age of 12 to conceive a child but should she? Responsibility, Accountability. You need to sober up.
dccb9 April 10, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Well said. I completely agree. Parents and private establishments, not the government, should decide the drinking age. I have yet to see any evidence that having a drinking age of 21 curbs dangerous behavior and, in my experience, it increases recklessness and immaturity surrounding alcohol use.
Kristen Morgan April 10, 2012 at 06:19 PM
This is a complicated topic. As a parent of two, I have the "joys" of prom to look forward to in a few years down the road. I was a good kid growing up, with a good group of friends, all who have grown up to be contributing members of society. But from what I can recall, that didn't stop us from using prom and the myriad of other formal dance events as an excuse to indulge in alcohol consumption. In the late eighties, we used to rent hotel rooms to drink in, which I'm sure must still happen now? I'm not saying that parents hosting parties where they know alcohol is being served is the solution to the problem. But I imagine it's an honest attempt to recognize that the drinking is going to happen, while making an effort to keep some amount of control over it. I think continuing to talk about this subject, with other parents and with your kids, is a good start.
Lori Rennels April 10, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Absolutely NOT!! It's weird enough watching them drink when they are legal at 21. I don't need to worry about them drinking and driving at 17 or 18. Besides it's the LAW!!!
John Bolton April 10, 2012 at 09:45 PM
If you think the drinking age should be lowered or eliminated thats fine but change the legislation not ignore the current law. Its just as naive to think throwing one party for your kids is going to make them safe. I love the assumption that its either letting them drink or nothing else. How about instead of finding ways of enabling poor decisions parents and towns focus on actually giving kids something else to do? one reason why kids drink, is because the only thing open after 9 pm on a weekend (in at least the farmington valley) is bars. So its either go home and look for some way to amuse yourself or go out and try to get into a bar. Its pretty sad the complete lack of activities for young people to do in this area and the little support any alternative gets. Avon is the perfect example. The place is a ghost town on weekend evenings with kids having to resort to hanging out in mcdonalds parking lot. Perhaps giving some alternatives would at least interest a percentage of kids to find something else to do. Maybe some town sponsored music events (since you current have to go to bars to see music), or a sports facility open in the evening (they can't even get a basketball court), or free outdoor movies like canton started doing, at this point anything. So really what are kids supposed to do other than stay home or go out and cause trouble.

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