Still grieving over the deaths of three Chicago-area teenagers, including two who died in a homecoming night car crash, hundreds of parents packed a high school auditorium for a town hall meeting in Deerfield on how they can prevent further heartbreak related to kids, drugs and alcohol, reports the Chicago Tribune. The message was blunt: It all starts with parents, and some are falling down on the job. Police cited a “disturbing trend” of permissiveness toward alcohol and even drug use by adolescents.
Nearly a quarter of all road deaths involving teen drivers occur after they have been drinking. In a recent nationwide survey, one in eight high school students admitted driving after drinking alcohol. Of the 10 or so speakers in Deerfield, Lake County Circuit Judge Raymond Koski drew the loudest applause when he told the crowd, “Sometimes parents just have to say no.” The Tribune has published a series of stories this year on the dangers of teen drivers.