You know the old schoolyard chant, "No more homework, no more books. No more teachers' dirty looks..."
Yes, school will soon be out for summer, and for many of our area students, high school graduations start this weekend, beginning with Columbiana and East Liverpool.
While most students will be celebrating this new-found freedom that comes with the lack of structured schedules of school, homework, sports and other activities, parents must be extra vigilant to make sure that teenagers don't turn to drugs and alcohol to fill all of this extra time on their hands.
The number of drunk-driving fatalities involving teenagers during this time of year has declined in recent years, probably due to the widespread anti-alcohol publicity campaigns in the media. However, graduation season remains one of the most dangerous times on our nation's roadways for teenagers.
In Ohio during 2008, of 355 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities, 38 involved drunk drivers under the age of 21. Nationwide, alcohol is the cause of 60 percent of all teen deaths in car accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
So parents, before your teens head out to those graduation parties this weekend and for the next two weeks, make sure you have the "no drinking and driving" talk with them.
And teens, think about all of the tomorrows you have ahead of you. Don't spoil them by killing yourself or your friends, or severely injuring yourself or someone else in a drunk-driving accident. You have too bright of a future ahead of you to jeopardize it with one night of foolishness.