March 26, 2009

In the community's hands: Volunteers needed or termination of TAG imminent

By Danielle Abbott

There are days in a high school student’s career that they will remember for the rest of their lives. The annual prom dance and graduation are two of those events, and while the milestones generally conclude on a positive note, the post prom and graduation parties can have several outcomes. No parent wants their teenage child to drink alcohol, but the facts about drinking post-prom and graduation are terrifying. According to the U.S Department of Transportation, 219 high school students died in drunk driving car crashes post-prom in 2008. Numerous parenting websites list that prom night and graduation rank highest for increased underage drinking. These sites all state that to keep your child from becoming an alcohol-related statistic, look into school and community programs that host post-prom parties to prevent alcohol consumption. Luckily for Washburn residents and parents, you won’t have to look far to stumble upon a local group working hard to make your child’s landmark nights safe alcohol free. Unfortunately, with an extreme shortage of volunteers, this effective and beneficial group may be nearing the end of its road. TAG, the Teen Alternative Group, was started in Washburn numerous years ago, originally focusing on the night of prom. According to TAG board member Tracy Kuch, the group was started by a group of Washburn high school parents that wanted to offer their children an alternative to the traditional post-prom celebrations. "It is an alcohol-free, chaperoned event, that TAG puts on for the kids to help with safety," Kuch said.

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