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Letter: Humiliating

I was so disappointed in the Monitor’s decision to publish a story about six students drinking at a dance (“MV students arrested at dance,” front page, March 23).

I in no way want to condone underage drinking, but is it really newsworthy that a handful of teenagers drank some alcohol on a Saturday night? Apparently you deemed it not only newsworthy but also front-page material. As journalists, it’s your job to weigh the public’s need for information versus the damage the news itself can create. You chose to embarrass this school, embarrass these kids (three of whom you identified by name), and embarrass their families. And for what? Do you really believe the public was unaware that teenagers experiment with alcohol? Of course not. You, however, decided to run the story anyway – humiliating these kids and pandering to the public’s lurid curiosity.

MICHAEL PROULX

Epsom

I think many of us have forgotten what it is like to be a teen. You know the years, where you think you know it all, but in reality know nothing. I also think that most of us have tried drinking, and smoked pot or whatever. It goes along with being a teen. Most of us forget this stuff. I am not defending it, but it is a natural thing to do, try things. Many parents have even allowed kids to drink in their homes provided they stay overnight and do not drive. Not wise in my book, but it has been done. Youth is filled with endless opportunity, finding one's way, and a lot of lessons about what happens when you screw up. Hopefully they learn from those lessons, instead of repeating them.

I wonder if you have any idea of the horrific statistics of teenagers drinking and driving? Have you seen any of the pictures from across the nation of the after affects of these accidents and the pain of families that maybe wish that their child had been embarrassed enough never to drink in a car again. These girls were sitting in a car with keys, with the first drink all sense goes out the window and who knows what might have happened. I don't understand people saying I don't in any way condone underage drinking and it the next sentence condone it, practically saying it is no big deal. Also think of the rape trial in Ohio, under age drinking was a big factor in it.

Tillie, I certainly agree with you on most points but I have to correct one error. You say "...with the first drink all sense goes out the window..." Well submit that all sense was already gone before the first drink. We have protected and coddled today's teens to the point where they have no clue what a consequence is. Yes, alcohol dulls the senses, no argument there. I just am convinced that "sense" didn't exist in the first place. We have over protected it out of today's teens. Is this a newsworthy story, yes and no. But it is a reminder to all those parents out there who say my child would never drink and be irresponsible. I have got news for them - you are kidding yourselves. You don't think they make Blueberry or Fluff flavored vodkas for adults do you.

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