Many Houston-area prom policies tailored to each campus' needs

April 19, 2013 2:53:35 PM PDT
Prom season is one of the most memorable times of the school year for teenagers and their parents. But some Houston-area high schools are going to great lengths to make sure those memories are good ones.

Lamar High School Principal James McSwaine has been overseeing prom for over 20 years and tries to stay a step ahead of the kids.

"Thinking ahead, and not just thinking in terms of and communicating penalties,, but communicating expectations -- how nice do we want this to be," McSwaine said.

HISD does not have a district-wide policy when it comes to prom. They leave it up to the individual schools.

"You want to first of all put the prom where it's going to be safe and there's not going to be a lot of temptation. For years, we've steered away from having our proms at hotels for example," McSwaine said.

It's the same for Fort Bend County and Katy school districts. Specific policies like dress codes are left up to school principals.

"If we have a case where we would have something that we think would be indecent, we'll take that young person aside. We'll talk to them, give them an opportunity to change or ask mom to bring something else up," McSwaine said.

But the real concern is underage drinking.

Out of the dozens of area high schools we contacted, St. Thomas Catholic School had one of the strictest policies. The school's director of communications, Nick Tammaro, said administrators wait at the door with Breathalyzers. And if a student is caught drinking...

"They're not going to be allowed inside and their parents are going to be contacted so they can be picked up. And unfortunately, that's the end of their prom night," Tammaro said.

The ultimate goal is to have a memorable prom night that ends with students returning home safely.

Schools also tell us they police party buses and limos for underage drinking. If alcohol is found, the passengers and the driver could be fined or even arrested.

Here are the prom policies for some Houston-area school districts:

Alief ISD
Alief ISD asks that the individual school regulate dress code and other potential problems including Alcohol, weapons, etc. Any questions you are asked to contact your individual school

Fort Bend ISD
"Prom is a special event for Fort Bend ISD seniors, and we want to ensure all of the attending participants have a fun, safe evening. Our high schools and administrators take many steps to provide a safe environment for our students, including the use of parent chaperones, police officers, as well as campus personnel who are on-hand to provide adult supervision. Students and their guests are required to show a picture ID before entering, along with their pre-purchased tickets. Also, many of the schools require extra paperwork and approvals for those guests who do not attend the school before granting permission to attend."

HISD
Regulation on alcohol use, dress code, etc is left up to the individual schools to regulate. If you have any questions you asked to contact the schools for answers.

Katy ISD
Every Katy ISD district event, students are expected to follow our district-wide Discipline Management Plan and Student Code of Conduct. With six comprehensive high schools, every prom is different; therefore, campuses may create additional rules specific to their event if needed. If you have any questions regarding dress length, alcohol policy, you are asked to contact the individual school.

Klein ISD
Regulation on alcohol use, dress code, etc is left up to the individual schools to regulate. If you have any questions you asked to contact the schools for answers.

Pasadena ISD
Asks that the students follow the rules stated in the student handbook, which include Dress code, Alcohol policies. They also leave it to individual schools, teachers and administrators working the prom to regulate the rules.
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