Parents, students still need warnings

Posted3/8/2010 12:01 AM

In most cases in this space we editorialize on a topic and move on. We urge the passage of a bill in Springfield or seek answers from a political candidate, for example.

But there are some issues that occur over and over again. And though we have taken a stand on them in the past, it's necessary to do so again. In the past week, two stories emerged that call for a repeat of past warnings.


It's not coincidental, either, that both stories concern high school students or parents. Just like a teacher has to go over his or her syllabus each semester or the athletic director must remind athletes of the rules each time a sport begins, it seems students and parents need to be reminded early and often that some behavior can't be tolerated.

First up, a Naperville woman is charged with four misdemeanor counts of supplying alcohol to minors from Neuqua Valley High School. Lisa A. DeLuca, 49, is accused of providing alcohol at parties she hosted in her upscale neighborhood on four consecutive weekends.

If the charges are true, it would be another case of a parent making the inappropriate decision to be a buddy rather than a responsible adult. The stories in recent years of parents going to jail for such behavior and of teens getting killed after driving from such parties still aren't enough to scare parents into doing the right thing.

Last week we supported efforts on college campuses to inform parents when their children get into trouble away at school. But good behavior starts at home. Once again we urge parents of underage children to model that behavior by refusing to allow them to drink at home.

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The second story was reported in Saturday's Daily Herald. Five Prairie Ridge High School wrestlers were arrested on misdemeanor battery charges in what authorities say was hazing of teammates on multiple occasions.

Police said an investigation revealed allegations that several wrestlers restrained teammates while they were slapped and groped through their clothing.

If the charges turn out to be true, we are pleased to see Crystal Lake police taking this kind of thing seriously. We expect the high school to take it seriously as well. A "boys will be boys attitude" should not be tolerated. District policy bans hazing and says students found guilty of it face punishments that include suspension or expulsion.

An attorney for one of the boys says the allegations are nothing but "innocent adolescent horseplay." No matter how the case turns out, it's important to note, again, that hazing is not acceptable behavior in any form and parents and coaches need to make sure it doesn't happen.

Two cases in the suburbs, but they unfortunately are not isolated. Parents, students, please wake up. There are serious ramifications. Is it really worth the trouble?