Marshfield’s Ultimatum: Parents Attend Meeting Or Kids Miss Prom

By Christina Hager, WBZ-TV

MARSHFIELD (CBS) -Marshfield teenagers who dream of a magical prom night, had to drag parents to a mandatory meeting Wednesday. 

“We have a captive audience with the prom,” says High School principal Robert Keuther. “We know that almost 100 percent of our students attend the prom, so we wanted to make sure we’re communicating not just with our kids, but with our parents.”

 WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports

So for the first time, the school made teenagers and their parents sit through a primer on drinking laws, if the kids plan to attend junior prom. If they don’t show up, they won’t be allowed to the dance.

Local authorities talked about the social host law that makes it illegal for parents to allow underage drinking in their homes, even if they don’t provide the alcohol.

“It’s an inconvenience,” says Dottie Fierimonte, who came to the meeting with her daughter. “If the students don’t realize by the time they’re 17 not to drink and drive, if parents don’t realize…I think it’s a little ridiculous.”

The District Attorney also explained how drunk driving laws are tougher than ever, in part, because of “Melanie’s Law” inspired by the death of Marshfield teenager Melanie Powell, killed by a drunk driver.

“We’ve had enough bad incidents happen, and we want to send the message out that it’s not OK to break the law,” says Marshfield Police Capt. Phil Tavares.

The reaction from parents after the meeting was mixed. “It is a great inconvenience, but compared to losing a life, it’s not inconvenient at all,” says mom Liz Grauel.

Marshfield High’s principal says other South Shore towns are planning to do the same this spring.

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