orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

May 2, 2013

Students encouraged to be safe during proms, graduations

Gabriel Pruett
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — If high school students read one article on the Opinion Page this year I am asking all family members, friends, teachers and other educators to make sure it is this one.

This column is geared right at students who over the next couple of weekends will attend both prom and graduation.

I have a bit of news for you and it took no effort to look it up: If you go out and drink and drive and end up dead or harm someone else it will mean the last 12 years of your life were for nothing.

Your high school diploma will still have your name on it but it will not do you any good if you act like fools on either of those nights.

There is no party, no good time that is worth throwing away your future.

This isn’t coming from a 50-year-old teacher or your parents. I am not that far from being in your shoes and trust me, as I look back, I am blessed I came out alive and without spending time in jail.

Parties are fun and I don’t discourage any of you from having a good time on these two special nights. But do not drink and drive. Don’t get in a car with a drunk driver and in fact, don’t let them drive in the first place.

While we were in high school my girlfriend at the time went to Taco Bell with two friends of mine. It was right down the road. They were not drinking but the guy who slammed into the back of my friend’s car was drunk and my girlfriend was soon having to learn how to talk and walk again.

If you are going to drink, stay where you are or call someone to come pick you up.

The last article anyone in the local media wants to put online or in print is how a young adult lost his or her life because of drinking and driving.

Plus you can be sure law enforcement agencies know when the proms are held and when the graduation ceremonies are held. I know I can speak for them when I say the last thing they want to do is write a teenager a DWI ticket, but if it means saving your life, they will quickly put you in the system.

Be safe, students. Make sure you are still around for your freshman year of college instead of becoming another statistic.