PARKERSBURG - With hundreds of area students preparing to attend high school proms this weekend, officials are asking them to stay safe and make good decisions.
Parkersburg South High School on Friday held its annual Prom Promise assembly, urging students to avoid drugs and alcohol this weekend and to call for a ride if they find themselves in a dangerous situation.
This year's gathering featured two speakers, both South graduates who have gone on to great accomplishments in sports.
Photo by Michael Erb
Chase Fieler, a college basketball standout and Parkersburg South High School graduate, speaks Friday during the school’s Prom Promise assembly, urging students to make good decisions this weekend when going to prom.
Ron Crook, offensive line coach for West Virginia University, told students to have a plan before attending prom or graduation parties.
"This is a period of your life you are going to remember for the rest of your life," he said. "We want to make sure you remember it for the right reasons."
Crook said while everyone makes mistakes, students must take extra precautions to make sure those mistakes don't harm themselves or those around them.
"Develop a plan to get yourself out of a band situation," he said. "We all make bad decisions, but give yourself a way out."
Crook also warned of social media, which can make those bad decisions follow someone for a lifetime.
"Before you hit that post button, think about who it is going to affect and how it is going to affect them," he said, also urging students to remember "you are never out of sight of a camera."
Chase Fieler, a college basketball standout that played for Florida Gulf Coast University which last year made it to the Sweet Sixteen, graduated from South four years ago. Fieler said students often feel immortal which leads them in to bad situations with terrible consequences.
"You hear about it and think it's not going to happen to you, it doesn't happen here, it happens elsewhere," he said. "Well, it does happen here."
Fieler also warned of social media and said he saw teammates in college post things they felt were harmless but later caused them massive amounts of trouble.
"Once it's out there, you can't take it down," he said. "You've got to be really careful what you put on there. You've got to be careful in your decisions."
The school's annual Prom Promise program is sponsored by Nationwide Insurance and Vaughan Funeral Home. As part of the program, students sign a pledge to not drink and drive on prom night.
Senior Courtney Kemp signed the Prom Promise Pledge and won a limo ride for herself and a group of friends as well as dinner for the group at a restaurant of her choice. The prize was sponsored by Vaughan Funeral Home.