Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Parents Foil Drinking Party After Checking Daughter's MySpace Page | Weird Facts

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A children's advocate Monday applauded the actions of two parents who learned of a party their daughter was hosting by monitoring her MySpace page and then calling police.

Marathon County sheriff's deputies issued 29 underage drinking citations Friday night after the town of Wausau couple learned of the party while they were in Minnesota and then subsequently returned to Wausau, according to a Sheriff's Department report.

The parents first stopped at the Sheriff's Department at about 10:30 p.m. Friday, spoke with officers and then went home to verify that there indeed was a party. After doing so, they called police back and the father blocked the driveway so no one could leave by car.

The deputies arrived, issued the citations and then arrangements were made to give the partygoers, which ranged in age from 17 to 20, a safe ride home.

No one admitted to supplying the alcohol and the majority of those cited did not have previous alcohol-related offenses, Sheriff's Lt. Randy Albert said.

The parents did not return phone messages left on Monday.

Linda Salzman, manager of the nonprofit Family Resource Center, 705 S. 24th Ave. in Wausau, said educators there encourage parents to call police when necessary.

"I just think that it's a perfect natural consequence for the kids," Salzman said. "We're the teachers as parents. We need to constantly be teaching and showing them the right way. They will make mistakes and that's when we need to step in and give them consequences. That's how we all learn."

With cell phones and the Internet, kids can "get something going" quickly, she said. When leaving older teens home alone, it's important for parents to set precise ground rules and to check in on them.

"It's not a matter of trust, it's a matter of safety," Salzman said. Calling the police sometimes "just puts a scare in kids, but often that's what they need."

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[Via WauSau]