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Santa Monica-Malibu School District Parents to Get Glimpse at How Teens Party Today  
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By Niki Cervantes
Staff Writer

May 4, 2017 -- Santa Monica and Malibu parents who might have been partiers back in the day will get a reality check on Saturday as they peak into “mock” prom and graduation parties supposedly infused with dangerous levels of drugs, alcohol and possibly sex.

The 3rd annual #ItsTooEasy event hopes to prepare today’s parents for the hard-partying-ways of some teens, and pre-teens.

It runs from 2 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Conscious Recovery by CLARE Foundation, located at 1334 Lincoln Boulevard.

SMMUSD said it is "an educational event to help parents and other concerned adults understand the current culture of teen parties, and create a community conversation around underage binge drinking, marijuana use, impaired driving and abuse of prescription drugs."

SMMUSD’s Reality Party is most suitable for parents of students in grades 6 through 12, officials said.

“In the Reality Party, parents see the extreme levels of drinking that take place, the realities around alcohol and sex, and how out of control things can get when kids are using substances,” said Katherine Kasmir, executive director of Straight Up Reality Improv.

Kasmir will also direct student actors during the event. Parents and adults will tour scenes of the mock parties, simulated by Santa Monica students, and witness the drinking, drug use and social pressures that often occur at such gatherings.

Following the tour, parents will participate in a discussion with panelists from the Santa Monica Police Department, the school district, counselors and others.

“The Reality Party is a powerful experience because it creates an opportunity for parents, school administrators and community leaders to acknowledge the realities of underage substance use, and find ways to address the problem together,” said Shawn Davis, prevention manager with the foundation.

“In the Reality Party, parents see the extreme levels of drinking that take place, the realities around alcohol,” Davis said. “Santa Monica parents will ‘pull back the curtain’ to see first first-hand how teens really party when they’re not around.”

“In the Reality Party, parents see the extreme levels of drinking that take place, the realities around alcohol and sex, and how out of control things can get when kids are using substances,” said Katherine Kasmir, Executive Director of Straight Up Reality Improv, who will also direct student actors during the event.

“It’s something we know is going on, but to see it in the flesh, I was practically in tears the entire time because it was so impactful and so real,” she said.

The spring and early summer months are a high-risk time for youth who attend prom graduation parties.

Some 11,000 teens per day try alcohol for the first time in June and July -- nearly twice the 5,000 to 8,000 in other months, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

“Our hope is by parents being able to see the availability of drugs and alcohol, and how easily they can be shared, that they will be able to have a more relevant discussion with their kids around these issues,” says Dana Sherrod, one of the event’s coordinators.

A recent youth survey conducted by the independent community evaluator, Harder + Company, showed the vast majority (86 percent) of Santa Monica youth find it “somewhat” or “very easy” to get access to drugs and alcohol.


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