Rights, riots, and responsibility are all “R” words that belong together. It’s Spring Break in Miami, where we have seen it all for 40 years. This year Spring Break is beyond anything observed in the past! Rite of passage (another “R” word) has been used to describe the behaviors we observe during Spring Break.
Spring Break was introduced to America by the movie Where The Boys Are. Released in 1960, this movie takes place in Fort Lauderdale where college kids escape the cold for some sun and fun. However, last week’s Spring Break in South Beach was not fun in the sun - it was a lawless riot. How did harmless fun turn into a now dangerous situation? From introducing the bikini, to a wet t-shirt contest, these actions created a slippery slope, so we don’t see the negative effects until later. So, when do adults draw the line and set rules that keep everyone safe?
The brain is not fully developed until 25 years old, something that is demonstrated annually during Spring Break. Informed Families is in the middle of our Safe Home, Smart Parents campaign. During this campaign, we talk about the dangers of drinking. We also ask parents to help kids grow up safe, healthy and drug-free by setting rules in their own home and by checking out the rules in the homes of their children’s friends. Setting common norms and expectations is critical when kids are trying to make the right choices. The mixed messages society currently delivers is killing young people and leading them down the primrose path to a pack of problems when an innocent party turns into a dangerous situation.
My mother was the daughter of a sheriff and granddaughter of a magistrate and she would tell me: “you’re judged by the company you keep” or “no you’re not going; I don’t care what everyone else is doing.” I thought she was terribly old fashioned and out of touch, but she was just trying to keep me safe, not be a friend hoping I’d win a popularity contest.
Now, I see my mother was right! Rights and responsibility go together and when taken seriously, can stop riots! Please join us during this dangerous time for our children by creating a Safe Home and being a Smart Parent!
-Peggy Sap, CEO and President