It’s graduation party time, and here are some tips for you to make sure everyone stays safe.
Last year, the City of Santa Clarita and the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station launched an informational campaign to provide resources to parents, which will assist in planning, controlling and surviving a teen party.
As part of this awareness campaign, the City and Sheriff’s Station jointly produced a "Parent Guide to Teenage Parties and Dances" brochure that assists parents in planning and organizing the event when it is hosted at their home. The information also provides tips when the party is held elsewhere, and what to consider with your teenager.
As we enter into the academic promotion, graduation, and Summer break season and many of our youth in the Santa Clarita Valley have time off from school and other responsibilities, Captain La Berge would like to reiterate how important it is that our youth relax and celebrate responsibly and our parents stay closely involved with their teenager's activities.
If the party is at another teen’s house, here are some tips for you.
1.) Set the ground rules. Let your teen know your expectations for his/her behavior. Make sure to discuss curfew.
2.) Tell your teen that you must be informed if the plans change. (In case of emergency, its best to know where your teen is at all times)
3.) Discuss ways to handle situations involving drugs, alcohol, peer pressure etc.
4.) Contact the parents of the teen who is hosting the event. Don’t be afraid to ask if they will be present during the party and if there will be alcohol at the event.
5.) Make sure your teen has a ride home from the party.
6.) Stay in contact. Let your teen know that they can either call you or another responsible adult if they need to, or want to, leave the party.
7.) Wait for your teen to come home. Make sure that they are okay when they come home. Be attuned for any signs of intoxication.
8.) Be careful about impromptu sleepovers. Verify permission with the other teen’s parents.
If the party will be at your home, here are a few tips.
1.) Discuss with your teen about which areas will be used and which are off limits. Limit the number of bedrooms and back rooms made accessible.
2.) Determine the party’s schedule.
3.) Discuss acceptable behavior and consequences of bad behavior.
4.) Be home during the party, and invite other parents to chaperone as well.
5.) Keep a guest list of those who were invited to the party, in order to avoid party crashers.
6.) Remove prescription medications from the bathrooms and bedrooms and secure your personal supply of liquor.
7.) Be aware of any signs of drug or alcohol use.
8.) Be near the door as the party comes to a close, make sure that no one is under the influence.
“Every year, deputies respond to parties in which teenagers are unsupervised and participating in unsafe or criminal behavior,” explains Captain Anthony La Berge of the Santa Clarita. “Although these parties are not the norm, the potential for an unsupervised party to rise to this level is greater than a well-planned, supervised event with reasonable expectations.”
The results of unsupervised teen parties can be tragic, as alcohol and drug use has led to death and injuries. Other times, complaints of loud, unreasonable noise is reported by neighbors.
In 2006, Santa Clarita Sheriff’s responded to 3,538 calls for service involving either large parties or loud music complaints. Some of these incidents involved parties in which teenagers were found to be unsupervised and participating in unsafe or criminal behavior.
Already, over the past two weekends, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Deputies have responded to at least three incidents involving teenage drug use. These types of incidents and unsupervised teenagers participating in unlawful and dangerous activities can end up in tragedy.
The Parent's Guide to Teenage Parties and Dances also reminds parents of the possible liabilities they face by hosting a party or having a party at their residence in which illegal activities occur.
California law holds parents liable, both civilly and criminally, in the event of any injury or death when alcohol is either furnished or allowed to be consumed by a minor at a party.
The Sheriff’s Department has always taken policing neighborhood parties and disturbances seriously. It is the policy of the Sheriff’s Department to maintain the peace and security of our neighborhoods, by responding to and abating neighborhood disturbances, including loud parties, unreasonably loud music and other noise-related incidents that disturb the quality of life of our community.
In these situations, Deputies must balance the rights of party participants to have a social gathering against the right of the neighbors to be free from unreasonable noise and disturbance.
To effectively respond to the increasing numbers of calls for service involving large parties, Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station has added an additional patrol unit with two deputies on Friday and Saturday nights to respond and handle these disturbance complaints.
To see the complete brochure of “The Parent's Guide to Teenage Parties and Dances”, click here.