Teenage Partying Can Affect Students at School

Smoke pot, get caught.
On a Friday night in October, seven teenagers were driving home from a party in the woods. The designated driver did not have a valid license to drive. Someone jerked the wheel, and the truck went off a cliff and rolled multiple times before being stopped by a tree. No one was killed; however, multiple passengers had cuts and went to the hospital.

Junior Alison Melo, a good friend of several of the students who attended the party that night, said the whole experience was an eye opener. However, at least one good thing came of the whole incident; it brought them all a lot closer.

“We never realized you can lose people just like that,” Melo said.

Melo said she and her friends are going to continue to party, but they will try to be safer from now on.

“I’m done with dangerous parties, as in the kinds up in the woods,” Melo said. “I guess we never really thought about it [car accidents] before.”

According to Melo, they learned from this experience.

Freshman Sam Mukaida said parties are okay as long as they are sober, but they definitely affect teens’ lives.

“The party isn’t the problem, it’s the drugs and alcohol,” Mukaida said.

Coos Bay Patrol Officer Robert Lounsbury said although crime rate from teen parties have decreased since he has been on the police force, partying is still a large issue.

“It seems to be a social outlet. I think [there is] less of it because there are other outlets for teens now, such as social media,” Lounsbury said. “There was more of it before because people gathered into groups more.”

When a party with illegal substances is busted, a number of different consequences may occur depending on the severity, age and substance.

There are two types of possession of alcohol, consumption and possession. For minors, both are illegal and have similar consequences, resulting in a referral to the juvenile court, often leading to a minor in possession (MIP) and/or community service.

“Short term effects [of MIPs] are driving privileges, which are important to most teens,” Lounsbury said. “Depending on the status of your driving and crime, you can take an alcohol diversion class.”

Consequences for marijuana usage and possession result in a felony. However, as of July 1, 2015, the consequences will be the same as alcohol use and possession by minors due to the new law going into effect as a result of the recent passing of Measure 91.

Along with its impact on driving, it can also have effects on education and participation in extracurricular activities. Assistant principal Bryan Trendell said a student caught on campus with drugs or alcohol can get a 10-day suspension.

MIPs result in in-school consequence unless the student is involved with extra-curricular activities, in which case they will be suspended from the activity for the first offense, and a second will result in being removed from the team.

Trendell said he is unsure if MIPs can affect college admission but said it may be a factor when applying for scholarships.

“They’re a privilege. Not every student gets to participate,” Trendell said. “People involved in activities sign a code of conduct. They represent the school.”