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Dangerous time of year for teens
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Forsyth County News
For many high school juniors and seniors, this is an exciting time of the year. Seniors are looking forward to a final few days of school before starting the next phase of their lives. Juniors anxiously await the passage of those same few days so that their senior year can begin.

There are proms on the agenda, a host of social events and recognitions, and of course graduation. The weather is great. Spring beckons and the world is a beautiful place.

As well as a dangerous one.

Far too often as the school year winds toward an end newspapers find themselves covering stories of students who die in traffic accidents, or teens who endanger their own lives or those of others by abusing illicit drugs or alcohol.

Amazingly, adults who should know better sometimes are aware of the dangerous risks their teens are taking and allow the behavior. Worse yet, some encourage it.

Every year there are stories of adults being arrested because they chose to host a party where underage consumption of alcohol was allowed, or, even worse, because they purchased alcohol for teens to have at an unchaperoned party.

Somehow they never believe that the youngster who strangles to death in his sleep after consuming too much alcohol could ever have been one of those at their house.

Somehow they never believe that the girl crippled for life after wrecking her car while driving drunk would be one of those who left their house.

Somehow they never believe that the out-of-control behavior that results in jail time and criminal records for students who then may never graduate could happen to the kids at their house.

Somehow they never believe that they can get in trouble for allowing their teenagers to blow off a little steam at the end of the school year.

And yet they’re wrong.

Teenagers don’t always have the mental maturity to properly evaluate the risks inherent in their behaviors. Adults are supposed to know better.

The death of a high school student is always tragic, but seems moreso during the prom and graduation season. Adults — even those without teens of their own — need to be more vigilant than ever during this time of year to help assure the safety of those who actions might put their lives and the lives of others at risk.

And as for those parents who hope to regain lost youth or build bonds of friendship rather than parenthood by hosting drinking parties and buying alcohol for teens — the law allows them to be put in jail, and that seems an appropriate place.