School officials stress proper behavior at prom 

Controlling what high school students do after dances or other school functions can be difficult, according to school officials, but many districts said they try to instill proper behavior during and after any event.

Ryan Sebers, supervisor of the attendance and welfare with the South San Francisco Unified School District, said South City is sure to have school administrators, teachers and parents at proms to minimize unruly behavior.

“It’s all in how you set the tone of the evening itself,” Sebers said. “We are there supervising until the very last minute.”

In San Mateo late Saturday night, four males were stabbed during an altercation at a hotel where many prom after-parties were held.

San Mateo police Lt. Mike Brunicardi said the hotel itself did not host a prom that night.

Brunicardi said he did not know which prom the four males had attended. He did say, however, the four did know each other, and therefore the altercation was not random. The incident may have been gang-related.

Brunicardi warned of the dangers of alcohol, which was involved in the incident, and drugs.

None of the injuries sustained were considered life-threatening.

Sebers said the South City district highly discourages parents from paying for hotel rooms or hosting after-parties.

At Menlo-Atherton High School in the Sequoia Union High School District, students know when they come to a school dance they could be searched or have to pass a Breathalyzer before entering prom, Principal Matthew Zito said.

“We are very strict in that this is a clean and sober event,” he said. “Any traces of drugs or alcohol and they will not be allowed in. Some cases, their parents will be called.”

Zito said holding the prom outside of the area prevented unwanted guests from “dropping by.” He also said not having the dance at a hotel deters behavior such as drinking or sneaking out of the dance.

“Twenty years ago, parents would rent rooms for the kids,” he said. “So kids would migrate to and from the rooms or party there beforehand.”

Jefferson Union High School District Superintendent Mike Crilly, however, acknowledged once kids leave the dance, monitoring their behavior becomes increasingly difficult.

“We don’t have control in the middle of the night when the kids leave,” he said. “We don’t want to invite trouble to our prom, but it is our responsibility to provide a safe and healthy event for our kids.”

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