Carlmont prepares for a safe Winter Formal

Carlmont+Winter+Formal+flyers+are+handed+out+when+students+buys+their+tickets+in+the+quad.+

Erwan Pal

Carlmont Winter Formal flyers are handed out when students buys their tickets in the quad.

While Carlmont’s Winter Formal can be fun and exciting, many overlook the preparation and safety precautions that go into making it possible.

At the entrance of the Fox Theater, where formal is held, there is a security line where students’ bags are checked to make sure they are free of drugs and alcohol.

Gregg Patner, the administrative vice principal, said, “When you have drugs and alcohol at a dance, you run into a lot of safety issues.Without checking and searching anyone, we have a big safety risk, and especially with today’s conditions, we don’t want to take the risk. It’s like if no one got searched when they were going on an airplane to make sure there were no bombs in their bags. It’s a huge security risk for us and others.”

Formal has been an annual dance at Carlmont, though many have not seen what goes into the preparation for the dance. The Associative Student Body (ASB) overlooks all the dances. ASB’s dance committee is comprised of five students: Samantha Day, a senior, Sloan Adrouny, a junior, Bridget Dirstine, a junior, Supriya Haldankar, a senior, and Katelyn Nightengale, a sophomore.

Nightengale said, “We start planning formal after homecoming dance ends, at the end of October or the beginning of November. Then we start brainstorming ideas on possible themes and decorations for Formal. I love to get kids that aren’t usually outgoing to take a risk and go to Formal, so I look forward to seeing new students hopefully go and have fun.” 

Preparation includes budgeting for food, decorations, and ticket sales. Many ASB members enjoy brainstorming decoration ideas for the dance.

“I have never been to Formal, but I am excited to go. I think that the dance committee sets up great dances. I have gone to Homecoming, and I was impressed by how professional it looked. I think that the screening process is not too crazy. I understand where they are coming from, so it doesn’t bother me too much,” said Lucas McLaren, a sophomore.

The consequences of sneaking in drugs and alcohol vary from case to case.

Patner said, “It’s all about honesty and supporting the kids to make good decisions. Since teenagers grow until they’re 25, their cells are reproducing and changing, so by putting in these chemicals, it might impact your growth.”

As the administrative vice principal, Patner worries about students’ health first.

“If they got away with sneaking in any drugs or alcohol, I hope they are safe, and I hope they didn’t put themselves in harm’s way, because there would be nothing worse than losing somebody or having them get violently ill. But then I would say, take a look at yourself and ask if you want to be the guy who snuck drugs into a high school dance. If that is what you want, then that’s fine, but at one point you will look at it as a negative,” Patner said. 

At the end of the day, it’s kind of like being a thief. You might not be caught the first time, or the fifth time, or the hundredth time, but eventually, there would be a time that you finally get caught.  ”

— Gregg Patner

According to Get Smart About Drugs, teens use drugs to feel good, forget their troubles, and ease their pain. Though many advocate not to use drugs, many teens use them anyway to have fun.

“If someone told me that I am ruining the fun by taking away drugs or alcohol, I would ask them why do they need drugs to have fun,” Patner said.

For those that are struggling with drugs, please visit drugabuse.com or call them at 1-877-566-8961. Their staff is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.