On Tuesday in class we discussed the phenomenon of the "House Party". A House Party is an informal party "someone" underage folks sometimes go to at someone's house typically when parents /guardians are not present. The first reaction from many students was a chuckle and a laugh followed by some knowing glances among some of your classmates. Some students mentioned the movie "Project-X" or the upcoming movie on "Spring Break" as entertaining and cool examples of this "party hard, it is all fun, & nobody get's hurt" mentality
As a class when the concept of the "House Party" was defined from student input, I collected the following student responses from the class discussion:
- House Party: party at someone else's house where there are no adults (parents or guardian's) present or adults (parents or guardians) are present but aren't paying attention to what is going on in their house or feel it is OK that kid's are partying "a little" because it is safer than them doing it somewhere else. Adults who own these homes but don't supervise these parties or who condone them, are legally responsible (criminally and civilly) for what occurs in their home.
- Activities at a House Party:
- Music & Dancing. This can often lead to "grinding" which is inappropriate dancing.
- Alcohol. Illegal, if party-goers are under the age of 21 which all high school student's are.
- Drugs. Illegal in all cases.
- Sometimes the Potential for Violence. Illegal.
- Sometimes the potential for Sex. Ranging from inappropriate to illegal depending upon the age of those participating in this activity. The combination of illegal substances for minors, inappropriate dancing, and no adult supervision can lead to problems such as someone taking advantage of someone sexually (assault / rape), STDs, or an unplanned pregnancy.
- Final Comment: Going to a House Party is not a risk, but a gamble where your future and what happens at this illegal type party is left to chance. Typically kids who attend these house party's don't know everyone who is there and know that no one is in charge...the seeds for disaster.
This discussion is a precursor for a discussion of the Steubenville, Ohio rape case and follow on Ohio State Grand Jury investigation.