Yes, it is time to end this tradition. Like many other parents, I have a son in Grade 11 at Penticton Secondary and there has been a lot of talk about the event (before and after this tragic senseless death of one of our young citizens).
Many of the students have already agreed that other plans need to be made for future events. In some cases there has been discussion about having a party of some kind at a parent’s home, or perhaps having smaller parties. The fact remains that some form of a gathering at some location at some point is inevitably going to happen, and we as parents and community-minded people need to be involved.
It was once said that “It takes a community to raise a child” and I wholeheartedly agree. As parents we do our best, but as a community, we have more wisdom, more experience and many more pairs of eyes to watch with and helping hands to guide with.
Growing up is tough today (as it was many years ago, and will be many years from now). Kids want different things today, and are often misguided as to what’s important, but like previous generations, they need and often look for guidance as they explore what the world has to offer them. It does not make any difference whether this child was well liked or a great kid or loyal to his family, the truth is he was a child of this community and deserved better than this.
So as we mourn the loss of this young man just short of his 17th birthday and prepare for the next group of students to enter Grade 12 at our high schools, ask yourself what you can do, or better yet, ask yourself what you will do to make a positive difference in their lives.
We as a community have a vested interest in our students, so let’s stand together and be there for them, to guide or supervise them, to encourage them and cheer them on, and most importantly to pick them up if they fall down. Whether it’s your child or your neighbours’ we do care, and together we can make a difference.