EDITORIAL: Be responsible on grad night

Saanich News editorial asking teens to be smart when attending graduation festivities by planning ahead

Let’s not kid ourselves: teenagers don’t always follow the rules. And when it comes to adhering to the legal drinking age, most of them aren’t patiently waiting for their 19th birthday before having their first sip of alcohol.

Graduation season is a time that should be joyous and celebratory, but every year Grade 12 students die in this country because partying got out of hand in one way or another.

These are preventable tragedies that nobody in our community wants to see happen.

Graduation marks a time of big change. The last 13 years of K-12 education is behind you, and you’re transitioning into the next phase of your life: adulthood.

Your teachers, school counsellors and parents have repeatedly told you that the choices you make now (Should I work or go to school after I graduate? What do I want to get a degree in?) will have an impact on the rest of your life. The same logic applies to grad night.

If you choose to celebrate this rite of passage with alcohol, be responsible.

Saanich police school liaison officer Sgt. Nick Ross says he provides the exact same message on his students as he does to his own kids.

“Be careful and go out with a plan. What are you going to do and how are you going to be safe?” he says.

That includes ensuring you are celebrating in a safe manner, in a safe location with people you know and trust. Most importantly, that’s ensuring you have a safe ride home – whether it’s a designated driver or waking up your parents at 3 a.m. asking to get picked up.

An important part of adulthood is making good decisions. Start now: be smart and be responsible before you head out for your after-grad festivities.

It’s all about getting home safe from a night of well-earned fun. If you don’t get home safe, it defeats the whole purpose of celebrating.

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