Prom season is a time when the thoughts of many high school students turn to rented limousines, tuxedos and evening dresses. Students at Science Hill High School will be putting on their dancing shoes for prom Saturday night.
This is also a time of the year when law enforcement agencies across Tennessee step up their efforts to warn teenagers of the dangers of underage drinking.
Drinking and driving is a bad combination regardless of the perpetrator’s age. Too many prom night celebrations have been ruined over the years by a drunken teenager behind the wheel. But it’s not just drinking and driving that can spoil prom night.
Underage drinking is illegal and has many consequences that not only include possible death and injury on the highway, but also death and injury from alcohol poisoning or violence. Drinking under the age of 21 is against the law in this state. There are no exceptions.
We know that doesn’t stop some teenagers and young adults from doing it any way. That’s no surprise. We chalk it up to the exuberance and foolishness of youth. What does surprise us is to hear of adults — parents, in fact — who aid and abet in such illegal activity.
Experts strongly advise parents never to allow underage drinking in their homes. It simply sends the wrong message. As we’ve said in this space many times before, parents need to be parents to their teens — not party supervisors. That’s especially true on prom night.
We support aggressive law enforcement efforts to hold parents and other adults accountable for underage drinking.