Janesville32.4°

Deputies, YWCA preparing for proms

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
April 24, 2008
— Rock County sheriff’s deputies are going to prom.

OK, kids, don’t get grossed out. They won’t be dressing up in tuxes or gowns, but they plan to be on the road in numbers greater than usual this Saturday night and Saturdays, May 3, 10 and 17.


The goal is to reduce traffic accidents, prevent underage drinking and drug abuse and to address “other issues that occasionally occur with teenagers celebrating their high school prom,” according to a news release from the sheriff’s department.


At least two extra deputies will be assigned to the area of each school having a prom. More deputies might be sent if it’s a large school, said Lt. Troy Knudson of the sheriff’s department.


Clinton and Janesville Parker high schools hold proms this Saturday, so at least four extra deputies will be on the road.


Two extra deputies working eight-hour shifts costs about $1,000, Knudson said. The department hopes to get reimbursed through a “youth alcohol enforcement grant” from the state.


“The sheriff’s office hopes that by putting extra squad cars on the road during these times, teenagers will have a safe and fun experience on what tends to be a very memorable night of their high school years,” according to the news release.


“We encourage parents and teachers to speak with students and remind them about the responsibilities of safe driving and the consequences that result from using alcohol and drugs that impair judgment,” the release reads.


Those consequences can include loss of driving privileges, jail time, prison time and/or carrying the guilt of killing another human being around for the rest of their lives.


Other upcoming proms are:


-- May 3—Beloit Memorial and Orfordville Parkview.


-- May 10—Beloit Turner, Evansville, Janesville Craig and Milton.


-- May 17—Edgerton.


The sheriff’s department “encourages all teenagers to be safe and sober this prom season, by buckling up, slowing down and saying no to alcohol and drugs.”


The news release doesn’t mention sex, but the YWCA of North Rock County has taken note that unwelcome sexual conduct also can be a part of prom night.


The YWCA has posted information on its Web site with advice for preventing “dating violence.” Among the tips:


-- Have your parents meet your date before prom night.


-- Make sure you have a charged cell phone that is turned on at all times.


-- Stick to your family values and stand firm if pressured to have sex.


-- Know that you have every right to say no at any time, in any situation.


-- Set up check-in times when you will call your parents.


-- Don’t use alcohol or drugs or ride in a vehicle with anyone under the influence.


-- Remember that underage drinking, physical and sexual violence can land you in jail.



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