2008-08-14 / Letters to the Editor

Parents should lay down the law

What happened to the old days when police would bring a teenager home to his parents and let the family take the first crack at eliminating the risk of future bad behavior? I know in my house it worked pretty well.

It sickens me to think about what the repercussions could be to the three teenagers who were fired as lifeguards at the beach. I know a lot of kids around town through our kids. I know that I know one of the three even though there have been no names leaked in the press. We've driven most of the 16 to 18-year-olds on this island places at one time or another, they have been in our house; my kids have been in their homes.

Let's face it, those kids could have been any one of our kids. Maybe if their supervisor or manager stopped by the beach more frequently they would not have been comfortable enough to do what they did.

My 16-year-old works in the same company with me and I certainly make a point to check on him periodically. Not because I am afraid that he may be drinking, but because he is only 16.

In the press it was emphasized that the town was either lucky or so well managed that the newly hired replacement guards are surely exceptionally good kids. Well chances are that the three that were caught drinking were also good kids, or at least the person that hired them thought so.

I am all for reducing drinking, and mind you not just for kids. But my point here is let's stop going around making examples out of our own kids. The sacrifice of a great kid or any kid for that matter, even to save lots of other kids, is not acceptable.

We do not need a law to criminalize what happened at the beach. The police need to work with and give parents a chance to keep their kids on the right track before resorting to arrests and getting the courts involved. I am not saying we do not need the law. It just would probably not have helped us at the beach that day.

Jack Ferdinandi Buoy Street

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