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Spring Break: What Parents Need to Know

Cancun's drinking age is 18 and authorities show little interest in enforcing it. During Cancun's spring break, student arrests for public sex are commonplace. Promiscuity, lewd behavior, public nudity, and drunkenness are the order of the day, as they are in all other spring break haunts. Cancun's emergency room doctors treat many cases of alcohol poisoning each day during high school spring break.

Because so many American kids have become very ill or seriously injured during spring break in Cancun, our U.S. State Department issues the following annual Cancun travel warning: "Crimes against the person, such as rape, commonly but not exclusively occur at night or in the early morning hours, and sometimes involve alcohol and the discotheque environment." Needless to say, this dire warning never appears in any spring break literature read by students or their parents.

How many spring breakers contract sexually transmitted diseases from anonymous sex? How many kids come close to dying from alcohol poisoning and alcohol-related injuries? How many girls are raped after ingesting alcohol laced with a tasteless rape drug, like GHB? Far too many. One rape or one death is too many. And spring breakers do die, virtually every year.

Tour agencies, parents, and the governments and business communities of spring break host cities all share in the blame for the perpetuation of this dangerous, sometimes deadly ritual. Parents need to wake up and to stop funding and supporting their children's participation in the alcohol and risky sex soaked rites of spring break. This is not kids' just having fun. There's nothing funny about rape, STDs, alcohol poisoning, serious injuries or death. Do you want to roll those dice with your children's lives?



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