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National Prom Graduation Safety Month – May 2023

National Prom Graduation Safety Month is observed every May, at the height of the prom season. On prom night, there is a lot of built-up excitement that results in recklessness from adolescents. There are frightening statistics on the number of teens who lose their lives in car crashes during this season, and a majority of those cases are attributed to alcohol or drugs. There are also cases of trafficking. So, while proms are about fancy dresses, cut-off tuxedos, and clean limos, there is also this other side to watch out for. National Prom Graduation Safety Month urges parents and teenagers to exercise care and caution during prom season.

History of National Prom Graduation Safety Month

The word prom is short for promenade — “the formal, introductory parade of guests at a party.” The prom was started in the mid-1800s at colleges and universities in the northeast, to promote decorum in each graduating class. By the 1940s, prom had blossomed into the high school festivity that it is today. The popularity of proms was such that in 1975, the U.S. First Daughter Susan Ford hosted her prom party in the East Room of the White House.

With big prom festivities came several accident cases where teens lost their lives, some for drunk driving, others in cases of drug overdose. Statistics show that roughly a third of alcohol-related teen traffic fatalities happen between April and June, which constitutes the prom season. In 2008, Roy Smith III, a Rockingham County student and firefighter, died in a crash. In 2009, Spotswood High School created Prom Safety Week to commemorate his death and prompt others to be more careful. The incident had caused much alarm and a need for caution. Ever since the incident, Rockingham County schools have continued to work to change the statistics surrounding prom night. Many other schools hold several educational safety week activities before prom night, to emphasize the danger of drunk or distracted driving to students and anyone else on the road.

The origin of National Prom Graduation Safety Month is unknown. However, it serves the same purpose as prom safety week, prompting vigilance and attentiveness from parents, and teaching teens what to do and what to avoid on prom night.

National Prom Graduation Safety Month timeline

Mid-1800s
American Colleges Hold Proms

American colleges in the northeast hold proms.

1940s
High School Prom Commences

High School Prom for graduating students commences.

1975
White House Prom Party

The U.S. First Daughter Susan Ford hosts her prom party in the East Room of the White House.

2009
Prom Safety Week Begins

The Spotswood High School creates Prom Safety Week.

National Prom Graduation Safety Month FAQs

When is National Prom Graduation Safety Month?

May is National Prom Graduation Safety Month.

What is pride prom?

An event dedicated to the celebration of the L.G.B.T.Q+ community.

Is there a prom night in college?

Most colleges do not have proms; it is very rare for colleges to have a prom night.

How to Observe National Prom Graduation Safety Month

  1. Keep communication intact with your teen

    Talk to your teen about their plans. Know where and who they plan to spend their prom night with. If they are at a party, check in on them.

  2. Educate your teen about drugs and alcohol

    Ensure you adequately educate your teen about drugs and alcohol and the consequences of drunk driving. Make certain they know what you expect of them.

  3. Build trust

    Let your teen know that they can call you if they get into a bad situation. Let them know you care about their safety above anything else.

5 Interesting Facts About Proms

  1. A seat belt can save a life

    70% of teens killed on prom weekend were not wearing seatbelts.

  2. Corsages were meant for the waist

    Corsages were meant to be worn on a dress at the waist.

  3. The prom industry earns billions

    The prom industry makes approximately $4 billion every year.

  4. Prom is shortened from “promenade”

    Prom is shortened from “promenade,” a slow introductory walk done at a ball.

  5. Proms began at colleges

    Proms were initially just a college event until the 1930s and 1940s.

Why National Prom Graduation Safety Month is Important

  1. It promotes positive change

    We get to change the alarming statistics of prom accidents and deaths. By celebrating this holiday, we help prevent such accidents from happening.

  2. It educates teens about drugs and alcohol

    We get to educate adolescents about drugs and alcohol. They learn about the consequences of drunk driving and are discouraged from drinking.

  3. It creates awareness

    Parents and adolescents need to be aware of the rate of teen accidents and other prom mishaps. The holiday creates much-needed awareness.

National Prom Graduation Safety Month dates

YearDateDay
2023May 1Monday
2024May 1Wednesday
2025May 1Thursday
2026May 1Friday
2027May 1Saturday
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