It's that time of season when area high school students prepare to take part in proms and graduations.
We urge our children to make it a safe experience with special memories. Don't ruin it for a lifetime with one stupid mistake.
It's simple: Don't drink and drive.
Breaking it down even more: Don't drink!
Consuming alcohol - or doing illegal drugs - doesn't make you an adult. It doesn't make you mature. It simply makes you impaired - unable to perform basic functions by normal standards.
If you choose to drink, it should be done so responsibly and at the legal age of 21. And let's face it, illegal drugs never should be taken.
Adults, too, should remember this. Parents, guardians, relatives and older friends should not cater to these special times by offering a taste of alcohol to those underage.
Unfortunately it happens. Teens drink. Teens take drugs. Teens drive impaired. And, unfortunately, teens die as a result.
This should never happen. Not now. Not ever.
We don't want to see these timeless memories squashed as the result of a bad decision. Driving impaired, or stepping into a vehicle with someone who has been drinking or taking drugs, can alter many lives.
All of us should also be reminded about driving distracted. It, too, can lead to accidents and death. So put down that cell. Don't text. Keep your eyes on the road. If you're a passenger in a vehicle, don't do anything to cause the driver to become distracted. Be a help, not a hindrance.
Some of our area school districts recently staged mock accidents, and we hope they served as a great wakeup call to those teens who may feel invincible. They are graphic, yes, as teen actors are used and fake blood applied to recreate what not only could happen, but what has happened.
Our area safety forces are to be saluted for these annual events, staged to teach a lesson. We hope not only our children receive the message, but their parents also are reminded of the importance of safe driving.
Here's to a safe and enjoyable prom and graduation season.