Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Get rid of all-night prom parties

It seems there's always a tragedy somewhere that accompanies post-high school prom night. Look no further last weekend that the heartbreak that occurred in Houston.

Tobi Oyedeji was a young man with a bright future. Didn't smoke, didn't drink, didn't do drugs. What he did do was wonderful things with a basketball. He was a 6-foot-9 power forward from Houston's Bellaire High School and had signed to play with Texas A&M.

To say his future was bright was an understatement.

Last Saturday night was Bellaire's high school prom. And, of course, with the prom is the inevitable all-night parties. There was a post-prom celebration at a local Dave & Buster's, and then it moved on elsewhere.

Around 5:50 a.m., Oyedeji texted his father to say he would be home very soon. He never made it.

Around 6:15 a.m., Oyedeji's Toyota Avalon drifted into another lane, striking two cars. Oyedeji was killed as was the driver of a Jeep that he hit.

Speculation was that the young man simply fell asleep. He was close to home, he'd been up nearly 24 hours with a lot of high-adrenaline activities, relaxed and fell asleep. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

Can we now dispense with the tradition of the all-night post-prom parties? What's the purpose other than putting a lot of young people -- a lot of young tired people -- at a great deal of risk?

Speaking of the father of a son who was at prom last weekend, we, and specifically my wife since I was out of town, finally drew a line in the sand about all-night parties. No. Sorry.

You can stay out until 2 a.m. and that's plenty of time to get all the fun you need in. Prom actitivies start around 6 p.m. or so, so that's eight hours. That's plenty. And if takes all night to have fun, I'd say it's time speed up the fun.

The old saying that nothing good happens after 2 a.m. is never more true than when young kids get together on a night they feel obligated to party hearty.

Part of the problem is a lot of adult parent enablers who schedule all-night parties, turn a blind eye to alcohol and then hope for the best. Like that's going to happen.

Tobi Oyedeji apparently had no alcohol in him. But he was unfortunately exhausted. And that snuffed out a promising life. Let's shut off the post-prom parties at 2 a.m. Tobi might be getting ready to be an Aggie basketball player if that would have happened.


Gina said...

It is all about parental control. If I instill rules and responsibilities in my kids at a young age, and continue to enforce them throughout childhood, then I avoid, for the most part, bad outcomes. If I say be home by two, gosh darn it you better do it. Parents need to quit being their kids' friends and be the parents.

Manda said...

Don't be a fool, you know as well as I do that banishment and laws will change nothing. Kids have been partying illegally well into the night for many years and aren't going to stop just because someone tells them they should.

Grady said...

yeah sure, and restart prohibition, ban smoking, ban sex. things happen. adults fall asleep at the wheel as well. i dont hear you crying to ban everybody from driving after 2am. you can't avoid the reaper. if it's your turn there isn't a whole lot you can do about it. people die. that's just how it is. we all will die.