My husband still talks about when he was in high school, he and a few friends managed to get a six-pack of beer and drove to his friend’s house to watch TV. A policeman stopped them for something minor like a broken tail light. When he looked in the car he discovered the beer. They were all taken down to the police station, booked and kept until a fine was paid. My husband’s father made him spend the night.

Now, we can look at the high school fraternity party at the Elks Club. You are correct, the fraternities and sororities at St. Paul’s and UMS-Wright have been doing this for many years. I remember an article in the Azalea City News about a rush party at a house in Spring Hill where drunken 8th graders were throwing up in neighbors’ bushes. At other times there were house parties at Gulf Shores where many were arrested and others ran away.

A few years ago at Mardi Gras, a friend and her husband were staying at Holiday Inn Express. In the room next door some young people arrived with parents bringing coolers of shrimp and adult beverages. The young people were wearing sweatshirts from our “elite” private schools. The parents left and the students started to party. After many calls to the front desk things quieted down, but when the kids started dropping shrimp on people below, the hotel made them call their parents to pick them up and leave.

With the incident at the Elks Club, there should be a signed contract and credit card with the name of the adult who rented the venue. The police should charge that person. They also should get the names of the chaperones who left. I think the Elks Club should have grounds for a lawsuit. The two men who thought the chaperones were still there should not be hung out to dry for the misbehavior of members of a high school fraternity and their parents.

If St. Paul’s and UMS-Wright want to get serious about the problem, they could say that if a student joins a high school fraternity or sorority they will be expelled. As former Police Chief Harold Johnson used to say, they are “gangs in blazers.”

Bea Ishler