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We all look forward to it, and it should be a time of relaxation and fun.

But, it’s dangerous.

Matt James, one of the nation’s top high school football players who was headed to Notre Dame this fall, died instantly Friday night after falling from a fifth-floor balcony during a spring break trip in Panama City, Fla.

And he’s not the first, and probably won’t be the last.

“Witnesses and friends indicate he had become drunk and belligerent,” Humphreys said. “He had leaned over the balcony rail, was shaking his finger at the people in the next room over. He fell over.”

He was 17.

There were about 40 students from St. Xavier and a half-dozen parents were on the trip to Florida, police said.

Where were the parents?

Spring Break started by some reports as early as 1935 when the Colgate Univeristy men’s swimming team went to practice in Ft.Lauderdale during the break from classes.  Ft. Lauderdale became the Mecca for college students then, and was the be all and end all for them from the end of WWII until the 1980s.  The film Where The Boys Are, a cult classic filmed in Ft. Lauderdale depicts Spring Break as fun and carefree. 

It’s not.

There’s pressure to party, pressure to out do, and pressure to ‘play’.

When Ft. Lauderdale (some called it Ft. Liquordale) got more angry about the trouble Spring Break brought than happy about the money it brought in, Spring Breakers moved UP the coast to Daytona. 

Daytona Beach, a nortorious party town, the home of NASCAR, Bike Week, and more, got tired of it too.

So, there’s Panama City, Cabo, Cancun, and a thousand other places to go.

Places for underage kids to go and get wasted. 

And year after year, we hear of at least one high school or college kid getting so drunk they don’t realize they are 15 stories UP and jumping from balcony to balcony or hanging over the rail is unwise.

And they die.

Many make life changing moral mistakes.  Some resulting in critical decisions that have serious emotional impact.  And that Joe Francis dude has his crew everywhere just waiting for some drunk girl to lift her shirt and make Mom and Dad “proud”.

I’m all for having fun, and I think Spring Break is a great thing.  BUT…shouldn’t the parents of these kids be with them? 

Assuredly, many are not, and sadly, many parents live their lives vicarously through their children.

It’s just wrong. 

UP is totally opposed to underage drinking, and totally opposed to the use of illegal and recreational drugs.

And totally opposed to unsupervised teens hundreds of miles away from home…no restriction, no guidance, no control.

And too much cash.

There are things out there many parents of today’s high school and college kids didn’t know about or have to worry about. 

Look at Natalie Holloway.

I”m not so naive to think that teenagers aren’t going to try things.

Spring Break should be fun, not dangerous, and should be supervised.

Mom and Dad, where are you?

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