Be safe this graduation season

It’s that time of year when we look ahead to the transition to the next phase of life for high school seniors.

They’re young. They’re excited. They’ll want to celebrate their milestones with friends.

And while we’re wishing them well on this big step toward their future, it’s also a time to issue a common-sense warning: Alcohol and graduation parties are not a mixer that bodes well for those bright futures.

Teenagers who shouldn’t be drinking often end up as tragic headlines if they do.

Graduates might sometimes try to pressure parents to offer beer or other alcoholic drinks at the party, so their friends will think they are “cool.” The parents also will be asked to look the other way during the party as graduates and their friends help themselves to a couple cold ones from the keg or a few shots from the bottle.

Parents need to know the law is very clear about supplying alcohol to anyone under the legal age.

The number of parents providing alcohol to teens is small. The majority of parents use common sense and refuse to allow alcohol at graduation parties.

Underage drinking can result in one of the leading causes of death for teenagers — car accidents. Binge drinking can turn to alcohol poisoning. Underage alcohol use also is linked to sexual assaults, date rapes of teens and the increased chance of sexually transmitted diseases.

Lives can be forever changed by the immature decisions made by teens under the influence.

Parents need to make it clear the party will be alcohol-free — even for the adults.

Parents need to talk to their children about attending other graduation parties. Find out who is hosting, if alcohol will be available, who is invited and how many adults will be present.

Also, have discussions with your children about what to do if they are at a party with alcohol present.

Make it clear that it’s OK, even as a big-time high school graduate, to call home for a ride for safety’s sake.

High school graduation parties are a celebration of a big event in a teen’s life.

Alcohol and teens don’t mix and, and if you try to put them together, they can change a person’s life forever.


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