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Should the police call the parents of college students who regularly get drunk and cause problems?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on February 17, 2005

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Photo of Cody Soyland

“If it happens two or three times, then I think the parents should know about it.”

Photo of Susan McDaneld

“As a parent I would like to know, but as a legal adult they have their right to privacy and the right to suffer the consequences on their own.”

Photo of Jesse Johnson

“I think the parents should be notified, because I went to the penitentiary when I was 16, and a lot could have been prevented through parental awareness.”

Photo of Casey Hansen

“I figure that they should deal with them on a personal level, because they are grown adults. They can deal with it themselves. They know what they are getting into.”


craigers 12 years, 10 months ago

Jonas, I'm glad we finally agree on something, I think.

jonas 12 years, 10 months ago

Over 18? Then no. Very, very simple.

Tammy Copp-Barta 12 years, 10 months ago

It's not our job to babysit the college students. They are 18 or over, it's their problem. I don't see you calling parents of the drunks that hang out downtown. Are they going to call my parents if I get drunk a couple of times (I'm 38 and a non-traditional college student). Come on .. be realistic. Our officers need to be doing more important work than calling mommy and daddy everytime junior gets into trouble.

tell_it_like_it_is 12 years, 10 months ago

I guess the question is are we going to allow them to be adults at 18 or not? We seem to send out a lot of mixed messages yes you can die for your country get married buy a house get all kinds of credit but on the other hand you can't drink even so much as a beer. Now it seems like to me we need to decide which way we want it. Personally I think at 18 they should be allowed the full rights along with the responsiblites of adulthood period.

jonas 12 years, 10 months ago

Craigers: Rather strangely, or perhaps rarely, I agree 100%.

Con1: I agree with your assessment of college life, and I agree with part of your solution: punish them when they commit punishable offenses. If we bend the age restrictions when it suits our whims, then we should be asking what the point is of having those arbitrary age limits in the first place. (which could be a good discussion in it's own right). If we are to consider them adults (and being over 18, legally we have to, despite the grey area twilight zone of being in college) then we should just punish them like adults. Their parents are going to find out anyway when they flunk out because they were partying all the time.

For the most part, though, unless you're unlucky enough , or misguided enough to actually purchase or rent property in the student area of town, the large part of the college students drunken offenses that might escape regular punishment only effect other college students (fights, litter, vomit, broken windows, etc) The ones that might have an impact on the town population are usually already punished accordingly.

What brings this up now? Is someone under the impression that this problem is any worse right now than it has been?

ive_got_my_ascot_n_my_dickie 12 years, 10 months ago

If they're adults, don't call the parents. Make them do community service (litter cleanup) and pay a fine instead. If they cause trouble again, increase the fine. Mommy and daddy will find out about it anyway when junior asks them for money to pay his fine.

italianprincess 12 years, 10 months ago

I know that 18 is supposed to mean you an adult, but some act like children still.

If they want to act like an adult and be responsible then they should be treated like one.

Forget calling their parents, treat them like adults and let them handle their own buisness.

If the college wants to get involved then thats on them. Its not and should not be a city issue here. If the college feels its a problem let them call the parent.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 10 months ago

Why not put them to work doing community service like cleaning up downtown all day Saturday and Sunday ? The culprits pay the cost of a city supervisor or law enforcement person.

What can parents do?

Kyle Rohde 12 years, 10 months ago

Absolutely, positively not. Its bad enough that the drinking age is 21, higher then almost anywhere else in the world. I can die for this country, elect its leaders, get a job, get a mortgage, get married, have children, but you're going to call my dad if I have too many beers? You can't be serious.

craigers 12 years, 10 months ago

I believe the parents would be part of the problem, if their kid can't behave when they go off to college. Let the student call their parents with the one phone call they would get in jail. Other than that stiffen the consequences for those who are repeat offenders, because everybody makes a mistake once in awhile.

Bad_Brad 12 years, 10 months ago

jonas - that's a good question. Drunken, rowdy behavior from college students is hardly a new thing in Lawrence and it is hardly unique to KU students. I'm not sure what makes this an issue all of a sudden today.

italianprincess 12 years, 10 months ago


I only got to the second paragraph and I started cracking up.

College kids are going to be college kids. Some will do very well, and some will not.

Some are going to be straight laced kids and graduate with high honors. Some are going to be party animals and graduate with a degree in something.

It all depends on the kid and what they want for themselves. They will realize after getting arrested once or twice before they understand that life isn't all about this party and that party. College life is fun, but they also need to stay intact. I went to college so long ago, but did my share of the parties. I got it together and graduated and I'm okay. My son who is a junior at Free State is already looking at different colleges and I hope he does well when he goes. All a parent can hope is that their child thinks before they act in every situation that is presented to them.

I still say this though.......If they are going to want to be treated like an adult they need to act like one. Be responsible for themselves and suffer the wrath for when they mess up. Sometimes it takes more the once for someone to understand, so let them make that choice to act according to the law. If they mess up let them deal with it. They are old enough to handle drinking, so they should be old enough to deal with what comes with it. If the college sees a real problem, then they should be the ones to get involved.

deuce 12 years, 10 months ago

What good is notifying their parents going to do? I can just see good ole' Dad laughing and telling a few stories about his college days. If you really want this to stop...take something away from them...something on the same lines as the ones they offended in the first place - how about fining them 4 or 5 hours of community service work? Instead of the City of Lawrence paying crews to pick up trash along highway 24/40 ...why not have all those violators out each and every Saturday morning bright and early. Maybe they will learn to appreciate and respect other people and their right to peace and quiet.

hawklover 12 years, 10 months ago

Although contacting parents may prevent future problems, parents are no longer legal guardians of their children after the age of 18. Contacting parents of college students over the age of 18 would violate their rights. NOT ACCEPTABLE!

mrcairo 12 years, 10 months ago

If they are underage then charge them accordingly. If they are of age then lock 'em up. Pretty simple really.

Call mommy? Call daddy?

How juvenile. Fine them to the tune of $250.00 a pop and we'll see how long it takes before they start to behave. And if they can't pay? Lock 'em up. 30 days.

Next Case!

lunacydetector 12 years, 10 months ago

they should make these college students work in a chain gang up on a busy street for all their friends to see and laugh. this goes along with at least 10 days in a tent city set up where they used to keep german p.o.w.'s during WWII - in east lawrence.

chains might be a little extreme so have them work in strangely colored jumpsuits, so nobody will have a problem recognizing them. they should also shave their heads, and since i am all in favor of equality - that goes for both sexes. they should print their picture in the paper. a before and after the haircut and jumpsuit routine.

since the college kids are the reason for our potholes, they should have these punks repair our streets.


ps. they shouldn't be allowed to take a bath or shower during the duration of their stay at the tent city. P.U.!

let the flame wars begin :)

jonas 12 years, 10 months ago

The_Original_Bob: If they wanted a question that we all could agree on, then they should do: "Do you believe that you are right?" What followed would be a series of practically identical posts of "Yes, I do."

greater_good 12 years, 9 months ago

18 or older? No. With certain responsibilities come certain rights. Some 18-year-olds are responsible enough to handle such a situation. Let them. Those that aren't, because they're in college, and the parents are helping, and they're financially dependent ... Will have to ask mommy and daddy for help, anyway. This question answers itself ... Sorry, police department, but there's no need to infringe upon citizens' rights on this one.

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