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Keep students safe this prom season

For many students, this is the most exciting time of their educational career. For many parents, this is also a time that makes them very anxious. It’s prom season. Weeks of preparation, planning and anticipation leading up to an evening of celebration and high emotions. Too often, though, the evening does not end with fond memories but a tragedy involving alcohol, drugs, driving and someone getting hurt. All it takes is one misguided decision that can ruin (or take) a young adult’s life and cause unspeakable pain to others involved.

As we embark on another prom season this May, let’s talk to our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends about ways to enjoy a great prom night that is free of drugs and alcohol and full of good times, sensible decisions and safe outcomes. Let’s make sober the new cool! Discuss with your child your expectations for the night and the negative consequences of poor decisions regarding alcohol and drugs. Having an itinerary for the entire evening with pre-prom and after-prom activities and transportation to and from planned out is a good way to avoid on the spot decisions that are not thought through and involve someone driving who really shouldn’t. Exchange phone numbers with your child’s friends and parents and stay accessible throughout the night in case of an emergency. If there are no after-prom activities planned and you offer to have a party at your house, keep in mind the social host law that prohibits serving alcohol to minors.

Here in Cayuga County, many schools host after-school prom parties. Students attend their prom and will then be dropped off at the location of their after-prom party (at their school or another community center). Food and non-alcoholic drinks will be served and a number of activities (music, karaoke, dancing, games, movies, etc.) are offered to keep the students entertained throughout the night until they are picked up by their parents.

The Cayuga County Drug-Free Community Coalition is advocating for safe proms by adding cards with positive messages to prom orders at local florists: Roses are red, violets are blue. Make good decisions, because your community needs you! Don’t drink and drive! #SafeProm2019 #YouMatter.

Timothy Donovan

Auburn

Timothy Donovan is a member of the Cayuga County Drug-Free Community Coalition.

God loves Murray Lynch’s letters

I’ve been asked by quite a few of my letter-writing admirers why they haven’t seen any of my letters in the papers lately. I just told them I don’t like the way The Citizen nit-picks over many of my letters refusing to publish them and leaving me no choice but to get discouraged and stop writing. Shame on The Citizen for thinking they know it all. Look, I’ve written over 1,500 letters over the years and over 200 were never published. I’ve asked many of my letter reading friends if I’ve ever written a letter that wasn’t interesting and they all said “no.” I asked if I’ve ever written any letters that were boring. They said “no.” I asked them if they ever read any letters that weren’t informative. They said “no.” So, out of the over 1,200 letters I had published, how bad could the rejected letters be? If they were so bad why couldn’t The Citizen take the courtesy to write me telling the reason for the rejections? As a loyal letter writer for almost 30 years, one would think they would extend that courtesy. Look, why does the opinion page make such a big deal about what topics get published? Does The Citizen want me to write about Trump week after week? Quite frankly, I don’t. I don’t feel I’m obligated to write about certain topics. I should be free to write about whatever I care to write about. That is what’s called freedom of speech. Good to change topics. It’s called variety, a change of pace, different topics and not necessarily always about serious topics. I didn’t become a world record holder of letters to the editor by copping out and quitting when all my critics of my letters wrote back finding fault with them. The bottom line on my letters is I know what I’m talking about. The letters (all of them) about God are 100% accurate. They’re informative and definitely worth reading. God asked all of us to act as his disciples and that’s what I’ve done writing so many letters about God. I know God is a dear fan of my letters and that’s the main reason I’ve kept at it for 30 years. Can’t question God.

Murray Lynch

Auburn

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