Wellbeing Report - February 21, 2019
author: Elizabeth Ryan
From the Deputy Headmaster – Staff and Student Wellbeing
Celebrations and after parties can pose a significant challenge to parents! Pressure to host an after-party, a gathering or a pre-party are the top three events that parents contact the College about. In an effort to pre-empt a number of issues arising from celebrations and after parties, can I please draw your attention to the Party Safe booklet published by Victoria Police. Following is a link to the party safe website:
Everything is fine at a party until things go wrong and in my experience the chart stoppers are
Alcohol and underage drinking.
You will note that the Party Safe book addresses alcohol and supplying minors with alcohol. By accepting the note, the party host parents are also accepting responsibility. The misconception is that if a boy (say 17 years old) brings a note from his parents stating that he has their permission to drink that the party host parents are absolved from all responsibility. This is not the case! The key word here is supply. The note will give you authority to supply and supervise the consumption of alcohol by the minor but not for a minor to bring in a rucksack full of his own alcohol to consume as much as he so desires at your place. Further, it is important that you can authenticate the parents’ signature. Otherwise, you may find that you do not in fact have consent from a minor’s parents for you to supply alcohol rather you have consent from one of his mates with superior penmanship!
You are expecting approximately 20 of your son’s closest friends and before you know it there are 50 to 60 boys in your backyard. My tips are padlock the side gate and secure the garage remote control. Further, do not publish the party on Social media including Snapchat, Facebook and the like! If you wish to control numbers print the invitations and entry to your home is via the front door with the invitation in hand.
Parents helping with set up and then going out.
If you agree to host any form of gathering you need to be actively present supervising the group. No supervision or superficial supervision and the consumption of alcohol inevitably leads to poor decisions made by the party goers which cause ongoing problems. When intoxicated, what seemed like a funny cool thing to do at the time is sheer lunacy in the cold reality of morning. The timely intervention of a sober adult can circumvent many a disaster.
Leaving your home.
As the party host, you will have a duty of care to ensure that guests leaving the party are safe, particularly if you have supplied any minor with alcohol. Please take the time to find out how they are getting home and who is picking them up.
In the interests of everyone’s wellbeing I encourage all parents to read the Party Safe publication and closely follow the recommendations of Victoria Police.