Safe, Sober and Sensational!
Westfield’s Class of 2014 Celebrates Graduation with Community Support
Spotlights in the sky over Centreville heralded their arrival. At 11:00 p.m. on the evening of June 18th, graduates of Westfield High School’s Class of 2014 began arriving for a graduation celebration designed for one primary reason: to keep these teens safe and sober on one of the most dangerous nights of their young lives. But don’t tell them that. To them, it was an evening of fun, games, dancing, food, friends and lots of prizes; a celebration of their four years of hard work and success. They had earned the right to celebrate! And their parents could rest easy, knowing they were having fun at a safe, sober, and chaperoned event. But it wasn’t always this way.
In 1987, the Department of Motor Vehicles identified a spike in alcohol and drug related accidents specifically on high school graduation nights. This study prompted the VA Department of Education to develop the “Virginia Operation Graduation Project,” to provide guidelines to schools on hosting drug and alcohol free graduation celebrations. Thus began the tradition of PTSAs hosting All Night Grad Parties, which Westfield High School adopted from its start. Although the event has changed in venue and activities over the years, the one thing that hasn’t changed is the amount of community involvement needed to make this event a success.