WHAT IS THE PARTY LINE?
Sparked by the tragic death of two teenagers at an unsupervised house party here in Glastonbury in July 1998, The Party Line was created by GCAP to encourage communication between parents, and to help them to make better decisions regarding the issue of teen gatherings and parties. Based on a national campaign known as Safe Homes, the Party Line encourages parents to adhere to the attached pledge.
If communication between parents is not the norm before entering the high school years, it is not likely to happen then. It is for this reason that we are asking all parents of children in grades 6-12 to sign the pledge. Please remember that the same principles should apply to any after school gathering, study group, sleep over etc. Since there are so many homes where both parents work, the after school hours are an especially high risk time for unsupervised youth, and parents should be aware of the risks when more than one child gathers in a household without supervision.
WHY SIGN THE PLEDGE?
Alcohol use is not a simple “Rite of passage” for young people. The results of underage drinking are devastating and frequently lethal. Recent survey results indicate*:
- 33% of 11-12 graders reported drinking in the past 30 days.
- 57% of 11-12th graders reported that it is very easy to obtain alcohol.
- 61% of 11-12th graders who admitted drinking reported they obtained the alcohol at home without their parent’s permission.
- The average age of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders who admitted to using alcohol reported first use at age 11.
*Source: University of Connecticut Glastonbury Substance Abuse Prevention Student Survey; 11/2009
Support of this effort will ensure a positive and consistent message: “Underage drinking and/or drug use are dangerous and unacceptable behaviors!”
Realizing that the local police were unable to take legal action against minors in possession of alcohol on private property, GCAP encouraged the TOWN COUNCIL to issue a Town Ordinance prohibiting anyone under the age of 21 to be in possession of alcohol within the Town of Glastonbury. This ordinance also prohibits the adult or youth host of a party to provide and or allow the consumption of alcohol by minors on public or private property. Violators of the law may pay a fine up to $500. Please use caution when choosing to leave teenagers home alone. Local police suggest calling the Youth Unit in advance, if you have concerns that your child may host a party in your absence. Letting you teen know, that the police know, should serve as a deterrent!
WHEN YOUR TEEN HOSTS A PARTY…
- Set ground rules ahead of time Let your teen know what you expect of him or her as a host.
- Expect and encourage calls from other parents confirming the “party plan”.
- Inform all guests that there will be NO alcohol or illegal drugs permitted in your home or on your property.
- Provide adequate adult supervision during the entire party. Be visible.
- Limit number of guests and set appropriate ending time.
- Know who is invited and enforce a NO Crashing policy.
- Inform all guests that leaving and then returning to the party will not be permitted. Have only one entrance/exit in use.
- Notify parents or police when teens arrive at the party under the influence of alcohol and or drugs.
- Set ground rules ahead of time and be consistent.
- Call the parent host, to insure details regarding the party.
- Expect your teen to stay at the party. If they choose to leave, have them contact you.
- Know how your teen will get to and from the party. Be available to provide transportation if needed.
- Set a curfew.
- Insist that your teen NEVER ride with a driver who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Be awake or be sure to have your teen awaken you when he/she arrives home. Kiss goodnight…
RESOURCES FOR HELP
Glastonbury has many resources for information and assistance with drug and alcohol issues:
- Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator- Youth and Family Services (860) 652-7531
- Glastonbury Police Dept. Youth Unit (860)652-4280
- Youth and Family Services (860)652-7661
PLEASE add your name to the list of other concerned parents by downloading and signing the PARTY LINE PLEDGE, and committing to the prescribed guidelines to insure the health and safety of all our teens. TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
THE PARTY LINE PLEDGE
- I will not allow parties or gatherings in my home without proper adult supervision.
- I will not serve nor will I allow anyone under the legal drinking age of 21 to
consume alcohol in my home or on my property.
- I will not allow the use of illegal drugs in my home or on my property.
- I will call the parent host of a party that my child is attending to assure that the
party will be alcohol and drug free, and that there will be proper adult supervision.
- I have discussed this pledge with my child/children.