Wednesday, March 4, 2009
College and high school students all over the country are looking forward to their week-long break from the school grind. They need it and should have it, but must it be in Mexico -- this year? Mexico has some of the loveliest terrain and people in the world, but news reports have been ghastly recently. The government's crackdown on drug cartels is bringing out the very worst in human behavior. I would have thought stories of torture, be-headings and widespread terrorizing of ordinary people would be enough to derail plans to travel there. As break time draws closer, I see news reports about glib college and high school kids who plan to go -- regardless! They mock their parents' attempts to stop them in that sanguine/delusional way some young people have. Aside from having to worry about drunken carousing, car accidents, rape, etc. parents will have nightmares about their Kaitlyn or Jeremy coming home in a box -- maybe in two pieces -- if the perps feel like keeping the severed head with the body. Are Mom and Dad doing the right thing by handing over large amounts of cash/credit to their kids so they can go where and when they want to? Has it become old fashioned to discipline one's kids and prevent them from putting themselves in harm's way? I am the first to admit that some things just have to be learned the hard way. As painful as it is for parents to watch, sometime that's the only way for kids to get the message. Nevertheless, clarity of vision is hard to achieve when friends, alcohol, sun and fun block the view. This is where parents have to draw the line and put a foot down, if necessary. Moderation may be an archaic idea, but it is still useful. Is going to Cancun, Baha or Cozumel the only place to spend spring break? No. There are plenty of great beaches here in the good ole U.S. of A. And, remember Puerto Rico and some of the Virgin Islands are U.S. territories, too. Magens Bay on St. Thomas is one of the most highly rated beaches in the world. In other words -- you've got choices. Make some better ones, OK?