24 Oct Halloween Parent Letter Warning
Halloween Parent Letter Warning
Dear THS Parents and Guardians:
The THS Administration has received information that there is a rumored upcoming Halloween party
or dance in the coming weeks, possibly Saturday, October 28th, at a private venue/residence.
In previous years we have received feedback from parents and guardians that they were under the
impression that the event was a school event. Parents and guardians are advised that this is not a
school event. Tenafly High School is neither sponsoring nor endorsing the event.
Parents and guardians are encouraged to speak with their children about their plans over the
Halloween weekend and to remain informed and aware of related activities. Given incidents which
we were informed of in the past at similar events, we encourage parents and guardians to seek
clarification to help them make informed decisions. We believe clarification for the following five
questions would be prudent:
1. Who is in-charge of the event?
2. Who will supervise the attendees during the event?
3. How many persons are anticipated to attend the event?
4. Who is eligible to attend? For example, have high school-aged young adults from other
communities been invited?
5. What security measures will be in-place, both inside and outside of the venue?
As in the past, if we receive information that tickets are being sold/purchased at school, we will take
the appropriate steps to investigate and administer consequences. Buying and/or selling of tickets
during school to a non-school sponsored/endorsed event is prohibited.
Parents and guardians are also advised that we have had weekend situations in the past which have
had direct impact on the operation of the school come Monday morning. In such cases, we will take
appropriate school action where/when necessary.
We are attempting to provide our parents and guardians with as much information as possible to help
them make informed decisions. Likewise, we would appreciate parents and guardians contacting us if
they have additional information that they think we should be informed about.
Consistent with our commitment, for example, a social media invitation/posting related to the party
that school officials were given a copy of included references to sore pelvic muscles, sexually
frustrated minds, and “hit lists.” In addition, the posting seems to indicate that there is pricing
specific for underclassmen to attend. The posting also stated that “There will be police officers on
site so if you are one of the (many) senior boys in a minor “situation” with the law keep the party
INSIDE and not in a cop car.” We are uncertain what these references mean and continue to conduct
a school investigation to assess if there are school matters which need to be addressed. We have also
informed law enforcement of the information.
In situations like this, whether in school or outside of school, we rely on our student leaders. Our
leaders, to name just a few, include team captains, club leaders, Peer Leaders, Teen Pep, elected
Student Organization officers, Board of Education Student Representatives, members of the
Principal’s Little Cabinet, and EMT students. We rely on them as we know they have tremendous
influence over their peers. We are in the process of reaching out to our student leaders to encourage
them to think about their own personal decision to attend as well as ask them to consider how they
will advise those who they lead. We also recognize that there are many students who may not
currently serve in a traditional leadership position but who are ready to emerge as leaders. We
believe that individuals who choose not to attend this party are leaders.
Even though this is not a school event, it is our professional opinion and position that this party has
not served as a positive tradition for our school community. In response, we have attempted to do our
part without overstepping the boundaries of our responsibility. We have attempted to lead with a
focus on helping young persons to stay safe and healthy. However, time suggests that to end this
tradition will require the action of other leaders – including students and parents/guardians.
“Opt out” is a phrase that has grown in popularity in education in recent years. Those individuals
who opt out of attending and supporting this party, in our opinion, will be making a good
CAP, or the Tenafly Chemical and Alcohol Prevention, under the auspices of the Tenafly Municipal
Alliance is a great resource for parents and guardians in navigating such situations. They provide a
wealth of information and insights on these kinds of issues.
In January 2011, CAP published a document titled Tips for Parents which is still very much relevant.
The document could be accessed on the group’s website at
http://cap.tenafly.k12.nj.us/modules/groups/integrated_home.phtml?gid=3781629 under Files in the
Newsletter 2011-2012 folder. The publication provides general reminders with an aim at keeping our
young adults safe.
Sincerely and respectfully,