“Cop cars, blood alcohol content, bad hangover, criminal record…” All of the aforementioned phrases are words concerned parents would most likely never want to hear within the same sentence as their child’s name.
Locally, rumors fly about parents who may not be so concerned, who instead may sponsor their high school students’ parties by buying them alcohol, then taking a blind eye to the illegal underage drinking that follows. In order to address the rumors, students who have chosen to remain anonymous have agreed to share their opinions and experiences involving underage drinking and partying.
When interviewed, all of the students said they cannot rely on the rumors because they have not witnessed any parents who have bought alcohol for any parties they attended. “I’ve never heard of an instance where parents have bought alcohol for students,” an anonymous junior boy said.
Although they are not advocates of the rumors being spread throughout the school, most of the students can attest that almost always, there are no parents chaperoning their get-togethers when alcohol is involved. They are usually aware that the host’s parents have left the house temporarily when they choose to meet. “I feel like most parents would be concerned, but they are oblivious,” an anonymous junior girl said.
However, one senior does not corroborate what her peers believe about parents being oblivious to the local high school parties happening at their homes. Although she admits to having been tempted by alcohol during at least one Saturday night gathering, she testifies that most parents are present and keep watch over everyone in their house. “The parents are concerned and make sure everything is under control,” the anonymous senior girl said.
In the junior boy’s opinion, parents may be less inclined to pursue stopping the parties because they want their children to have fun as a teenager. They can trust their teenagers enough to have fun with alcohol and not let it harm their decision-making skills, even if they are acting illegally. “I believe that parents do show a lot of concern for their kids,” he said, “but they also want their kids to live normal teenage lives, attend parties and do typical teenage things.”
When asked if any action should be taken to fight against the prevalence of underage drinking, both juniors agreed they would like to see change brought about through health education and parent-to-teenager conversations about alcohol abuse. The senior girl interviewed had a contrasting view, advocating for the trust and discipline between a parent and child. “I don’t think anything should be done about it,” she said.
According to the students interviewed, alcohol is a threat to the average high schooler, but unlike the rumors, the parents are not directly to blame. Looking forward, the junior boy figures he will keep going to student-hosted parties as usual to have fun, but will not let down his guard. “Personally, I will still attend parties,” he said, “but I will still remain responsible and know where I stand when it comes to alcohol and drugs.”