Lake City school, police helping protect students ahead of prom

LAKE CITY, AR (KAIT)- As students prepare for prom season, school administrators and local police prepare for the worst.

Although, teen drunk driving is down nationwide by 54% since 1991, car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. About a third of those crashes involve alcohol, according to a report from the Center for Disease Control.

Riverside High School in Lake City will have their prom on Friday and Principal Chad Jordan said the administration is doing everything they can to keep the students safe.

"Safety is always the up most important to us,"Jordan said. "We want our kids safe, we want prom to be an enjoyable evening but we want our kids to be safe and to get home safely."

Jordan said they will begin prom day, Friday with a talk to juniors and seniors on safety and making good choices.

"Tomorrow morning we will sit our seniors and junior down and talk about healthy choices, safe choices," Jordan said.

"Talk about some of the consequences of negative choices and the choice to partake in after prom activities that could put them in danger."

Riverside High School faculty and staff have taken numerous safety measures and precautions to keep the students safe and to keep their parents from worrying.

"The uniform police officer would be there," Jordan said. "So if we had problems he would obviously get involved if we thought that was necessary in order to keep the students safe."

Jordan said administrators and sponsors will also be in attendance and will be looking for anything out of the ordinary and any safety issues they might have as kids are leaving. On top of that, students will be required to sign in when they arrive.

"We will have a sign out sheet so if a parent is concerned on what time their child left or a child doesn't return home, we will have documentation on what time they leave and that sort of thing," Jordan said.

Winred Saffell is the chief of police at Lake City and said they have never had a problem with teenagers drinking and driving during prom time.

"I don't think we've ever encountered any problems with our teens, not here, we've been pretty lucky over the years, they've always seemed to make good decisions," Saffell said.

But Saffell encourages parents to talk to their kids.

"Explain to them the repercussions of the drinking and driving," he said. Saffell said officers will be out patrolling and doing extra security checks near the high school.

"Their driving manner to high rates of speed to low rates of speed, their ability to maintain control of their vehicle in their lane," Saffell said are some of the things officers will be on the look out for Friday night.

Saffell said he advises students to be careful who they chose to hang with on prom night.

"Make sure that the friends that they're with are the kind of friends that not gonna put them in those situations," he said. "Or that they would put themselves in those situations so it all just boils down to good choices.

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