Alright, it’s finally gotten to the point where nobody can ever post anything on Facebook ever again because it’s going to come back to haunt you in some way. Although, it shouldn’t be that difficult for teenagers to figure out that they probably shouldn’t be posting pictures of themselves playing beer pong at a party.
There weren’t any stripper poles at this party, nor any attempted murder/suicide drama in the aftermath (yet), but a bunch of kids in Connecticut — including a number of high school athletes — were suspended for drinking at a party at the house of the captain of their girls’ basketball team. Said girl was among the athletes who were then kicked off their teams. Her parents, who were home and apparently approved of what was going on, are charged with knowingly providing alcohol to minors at their house — and one of them is an elementary school teacher (so, probably soon to be unemployed as well).
The HARTFORD COURANT has the details:
Police said more than 30 teenagers, most of them students at Glastonbury High School, attended a party in February at the Berents’ Old Maid’s Lane home for the couple’s 18-year-old daughter.
Officials at the high school became aware of the party and the underage drinking when someone approached them with Facebook pictures showing students holding drinks and playing beer pong, police said.
Once school officials concluded that underage students had consumed alcohol at the party, they reported the matter to the school resource officer and police began an investigation, police spokesman Sgt. Joel White said.
After viewing the pictures on Facebook, police determined that nine teenagers had consumed alcohol at the party, White said. Five of them were on school sports teams; three of them were taken off the teams and two were sanctioned, White said.
Congratulations to the other 21 kids, who were lucky enough to not have been photographed during their turn at the beer pong table. Five athletes were either kicked off their respective teams, or suspended.
At this point, there’s no greater deterrent to underage drinking than the threat of getting in trouble for it showing up on Facebook, especially if you’re an athlete. That’s way more effective than any other anti-drinking propaganda floating around out there. Because now, all you need is for one person with a camera phone (which every kid has now) to snap some pics and your high school career can be ruined.
As for the parents, it’s a no-brainer that they shouldn’t have been serving drinks to other kids (what they let their own daughter do under their roof is their business, in my opinion), but they were at least taking one measure to prevent bigger trouble:
Police said that when some parents called the Berents and asked whether there would be adult supervision, the couple told them they would be at the party, but did not say alcohol would be served. White said teenagers attending the party were asked by the Berents to put their car keys in a basket if they were drinking.
While that was a nice idea, they should have had a separate basket for all cameras and cell phones.
We’re kidding ourselves, of course, if we think this kind of thing isn’t going on every single weekend in tens of thousands of homes across America. But while these kinds of things used to be easy to keep quiet, that isn’t the case anymore. Some kids clearly think that what they do on their MySpace and Facebook pages is private, when it’s anything but.
The few newspapers that exist anymore are salivating over all of the easy material out there on social networking sites. If they’re smart, they’ll create a whole “illegal things on Facebook” beat.
But seriously, stop with all of this stuff. We only have so much room on this blog to cover Facebook-related controversies.