*For Immediate Release*
Agencies Join Forces for PROM Safety Initiative
The Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol and Families First of Mississippi are partnering for a prom season safety initiative called “PROM-Please Return on Monday in the same condition you left”.
JACKSON, MS – The campaign urges prom-bound students to make good choices such as buckling up, no texting and driving and no drinking and driving. “The prom season is upon us and for many teenage boys and girls this will be one of the most exciting times of their high school lives. The Mississippi Highway Patrol has formed a joint partnership with the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services and Families First to educate our young people on the importance of making good conscientious decisions during prom season,” said Colonel Chris Gillard, Director of the Mississippi Highway Patrol. “MHP will be conducting an all-out statewide educational blitz encouraging students of the importance of making good choices this prom season. We want every student to return home safely and to remind them don’t take a chance before or after the dance.”
“This campaign is focused on showing teens the full circle of consequences of their choices to text and drive, drink and drive, and of not wearing a seatbelt,” said Chris Howard, Executive Director for the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services. “While Troopers are the ones having to knock on doors with the grim news that a loved one will not be coming home ever again, we see the side where individuals may be left with a disability-- because automobile accidents are a leading cause of traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. We think Families First really rounds out this partnership nicely because their Healthy Teens Councils are leading the way in opening up this conversation with their peers.”
“Prom and graduation celebrations should be among the most exciting and memorable events of a student's high school career," states Dr. Nancy New Co-Director, Families First for Mississippi. "All too often we hear of a bad choice that instantly turns great memories into unimaginable nightmares. We’re excited to partner in the P.R.O.M. campaign in conjunction with Healthy Teens for a Better Mississippi. It’s exciting to see our teen council members promoting this message to their peers. It’s a reminder that safety is a shared responsibility." State troopers, representatives from MDRS and Families First will be bringing special events to students around the state during prom season, primarily March and April. These events will include testimonials by individuals whose lives have been permanently altered following accidents involving drinking and driving, texting and driving and/or not buckling up. Additionally, posters featuring the artwork of cartoonist and well-known Mississippian Marshall Ramsey are being placed in schools around the state.
Teens celebrating prom can tweet photos to @MSDeptofRehab, @MSHwyPatrol, @FamiliesFirstMS with the hashtags #SafeProm #PleaseReturnOnMonday and #PROM2k19.