Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spring Break and Safety

When I was in high school about a decade ago, Spring Break was a time to relax maybe go to the beach or hang out at the Lake. I grew up in a tiny town in Northwest Florida. I could have gone to Jacksonville Beach or Daytona Beach. I remember in high school that Daytona was the Spring Break destination for many years, but then things began to get out of hand. One year Daytona kicked out the Spring Breakers, and they all migrated to Panama City. Here is an article about the problems in Daytona in 1993 just after Spring Break was removed from Fort Lauderdale.

My concern with Spring Break is that it is an event for high school and college students to attend without any supervision. The importance of this statement is that the students are aware of this. Spring Break is a prime opportunity for a student to experiment with some very deadly sins. For example, Forbes recently posted an article on binge drinking and students' involvement at Spring Break. Other sins include sexual promiscuity, drugs, and other foolish decisions.

This year Fox News has been posting a lot about Spring Break. I like to follow Fox News, so I have kept up with one particular woman who has been reporting. Ainsley Earhardt represented Sean Hannity. Here are some video clips from her reports. I have enjoyed this woman's reporting, because she is embarrassed for these teens, but she is compelled to post footage. Fox has received comments from parents who were so embarrassed to have their kids faces aired.

Let's just take a minute and stop.

First, why are your kids even there?

Second, why are they acting this way?

Third, what else wasn't shown on video?

Fourth, Facebook catches all!

I am afraid for students. I remember Spring Break back in the early 2000's, and it was nothing like this. Yes, all the problems were there, but this is the worst I have ever seen it. I would encourage all parents to not let their teens go to the big locations like Panama City. If your teen wants to go to the beach, send them to quieter places. Also, I would also encourage you to make sure there is some sort of accountability. Don't give your kid cash, just a debit card. This way, you can monitor their purchases. Make sure to call on them regularly. Screen all friends going with them. Lastly, do not be afraid to tell your child "no." It's ok. I know we want our kids to love us, but letting them go to dangerous places is not love on our end. They will love you more for what you withhold sometimes than turning a blind eye.
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