We all have a part to play to help avoid senseless tragedies among our youth.
With spring has come an apparent uptick in reckless behavior.
This week’s courts page reports the exploits of a young man who, after a friendly game of “who could drink the most,” allegedly endangered his life and others with a wild ride around Damariscotta.
His game ended with a ride to jail, where he emptied the contents of his stomach (no word on how this affects his score). This was followed by a ride to the hospital and a ride back to jail.
One of our reporters was witness to another incident of reckless behavior when she watched a vehicle tear around the parking lot of the CLC YMCA with one teenager behind the wheel and another “surfing” on the vehicle’s hood.
We used to hear reports of “car-surfing” once in a while. Usually the story goes something like this: “Do you know so-and-so? He’s in the hospital. He was car-surfing and fell off! He has a broken arm/leg/pelvis/ribs/skull/all of the above.”
We suspect some of this behavior is a symptom of spring fever, the general restlessness associated with the approaching end of school and (slowly) warming weather.
Speaking of the end of school, graduation is approaching at local high schools. With graduation comes parties, and with parties often comes underage drinking.
We know 18-year-olds feel invincible. Some of us here are not all that far removed from feeling invincible ourselves and engaging in various foolhardy teenage hijinks (though we never developed a taste for car-surfing).
We don’t feel so invincible anymore – maybe as a result of reporting on tragedies involving young people.
We would like to go through graduation season without any more tragedies to report, and we have a few recommendations that we think might help us accomplish this goal.
Teenagers, think before you act. High school has its moments, but life after high school is not something you want to miss out on.
Parents, talk to your kids, and lead by example. If your child sees you get behind the wheel with a beer in your hand, it should come as no surprise when they do the same.
The rest of us can help in other ways. For example, anyone can submit an anonymous tip about underage drinking or drug use to law enforcement. To do so, text LTip with the information to 274637 (CRIMES) or go to healthylincolncounty.org.
If everyone does their part, we can avoid a great deal of needless suffering.