“Teens today cannot live their lives in a bubble. They should be aware of the dangers in certain situations, especially those present at an unsupervised house party,” said a Chicago Police Officer. Teens could think that they're safe at a house party just because they may know the person throwing it, but they don’t know if other people are looking for trouble and would harm others.
We interviewed Elizabeth Duran, 18 years old, a senior here at Hancock. We asked her if she has gone to a house party and what does she think of them. She responded, " Yes, I've been to house parties but I don't really like them anymore. Most house parties I have gone to have a lot of drama and I don't like that. Now that I'm 18, I prefer to go to a club where I know they have security and I feel a little bit safer."
Ariel Nava, 22 years old, says that house parties are dangerous because one time he was in a situation where there was a shooting at a house party. “Once I was at a house party and there was a shooting at the corner of the block. Everyone started running out of the house and once I walked out of the house, I got shot in my elbow. To me, that was a crazy experience because I was only 17.”
Edgar Cruz, an 18-year-old graduate from Hancock, is in favor of teens going to house parties. He says, “House parties are a good way to have fun after a long week of work and to socialize with new people.” Although he thinks that 17 is a good age for teens to go due to curfew, he said, “Parents have to realize that their kids aren’t just going to a regular party. There is going to be alcohol and drugs.” He thinks that parents have to take full responsibility and know what kind of party their kids are going to.
Alexander Diaz, an 18-year-old senior at Gage Park, says that house parties are dangerous due to gangs, alcohol, and drugs. “Sometimes people take weapons and sometimes parties get raided by the cops. Everyone starts running and you are in risk of getting arrested.”
According to the Office of Adolescent Health, the percent of high school students who drank alcohol for the first time before age 13 is 18%. For males, it is 19% and for females it is 17% here in Illinois. The percent of high school students who usually obtained the alcohol they drank by someone giving it to them is 36%, for males it’s 29%, and for females is 43%.
Tips to Stay Safe at Parties
1) Go with friends you know are responsible.
2) When you go to a house party, look for all exits just in case something happens.
3) Be aware of what's going on at all times, and ask your guests to look out for each other.
4) Make sure you see your drinks being opened or poured.
5) Never leave your drink unattended.
6) Don’t encourage your friends to drink.
7) Have a cell phone with you so that if you need help, you can call a friend or a parent to pick you up.
8) If the party gets out of control, just leave and call 9-1-1.
9) Don't do anything you don't want published on the Web.
10) Don’t leave with strangers.
By Maria Campa and Carla Furlan, Hancock Seniors
Tips adapted from www.safeparty.ucclavis.edu.
Image courtesy of Pixomar / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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