Stay safe during graduation celebrations

It’s that exciting time of the year for a group of our young people who are looking ahead to their futures and hoping for a smooth transition to the next phase in life.

Our area graduates will don caps and gowns and accept diplomas in the coming weeks, and we wish them all the best on this big step. But it’s also a time to use common sense and we remind them that alcohol and graduation parties should not mix.

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

But parents, we remind you, the law is very clear about supplying alcohol to anyone under the legal age.

Statistics have shown that underage drinking can result in one of the leading causes of death for teenagers — car accidents. Parents also should know that binge drinking can turn into alcohol poisoning.

It all comes down to the fact that lives can be forever changed by the immature decisions made by teens under the influence.

Parents, please talk to your children before they attend other graduation parties.

Find out who is hosting, if alcohol will be available, who is invited and how many adults will be present.

Have a discussion with your teen about what to do if they are at a party with alcohol present. Make it clear that it’s OK, even as a new high school graduate, to call home for a ride for safety’s sake.

High school graduation parties are a celebration of a wonderful event in a teens’ life. Don’t let alcohol ruin that celebration.