As a new school year has begun, a new group of young people are entering their final year of school. Finally, the year they have been dreaming of is upon them. They begin to set themselves up for what is next and more importantly what they are going to do the week after they finish school, better known as Schoolies.
What do you think is going to happen ….
What do you think is going to happen when 25000 young people get together for a week of partying?
I have had the privilege of attending several Schoolies as a volunteer on the Gold Coast. I have been there as the 10000’s of young people converge together for a week of partying, and celebrating the accomplishment of finishing grade 12.
As a now parent myself, I recoil at the thought of what these young people get into. For many, it is their first real taste of ‘freedom,’ and it looks more like a scene from Sodom and Gomorrah. I shudder to think that parents knowing or unknowing allow their children to sign up to attend these festivities.
I have seen parents pull up to the door of hotels and help unload enough alcohol to knock out an elephant never mind their 17-year-old child. Some of their responses have been, “oh it is all fun, no one gets hurt.” Tell that to the young person we spend hours counselling as the got touched inappropriately, or watched their friend get their stomach pumped, or the fight they witnessed.
Once, I was talking with a police officer about Schoolies, as he was on patrol about his thoughts on the whole event. As he started to share about how great it is that the kids have a “safe place to come party,” a drunk teenage girl comes over and starts grinding with him like a bad Miley Cyrus video. He turned to me and said that of course he does not like when this happens.
Christians are called to be a witness
I want you to know that I am a strong advocate that Christians need to be there to at Schoolies: to witness, to proclaim the gospel, to pick up the kids who are so hung over that they can’t even walk, to counsel and comfort those who have face something traumatic like a rape or even contemplate suicide. We need to be on the front lines, but I don’t believe that it is your graduating teenager who has never seen the likes of this should be the ones that are there trying to witness.
Why put them through the temptation of everyone around them drinking, or doing drugs and or have sex? How would you fair if you were put into that same environment amongst your friends? Schoolies promotes everything that the Bible tells us to flee and what hopefully we have been teaching our children to avoid.
Challenge your child
It was so heartbreaking the number of rooms that I went to where the teenagers told me they went to such and such Christian school, or yes they were a Christian, as they would be binge drinking and or worse. “Yeah Jesus and I are best friends,” they would say as they chugged down a drink, or could barely stand. They had been versed by their Christian teaching, yet it never got into their hearts.
If your child is professing to be a believer yet they are wanting to partake in the Schoolies week, I would really challenge your child on where their faith is truly. Why would a professing Christian want to be faced with such temptation to sin to have fun?
Solomon warns his children in the book of Proverbs, chapter 4 verses 13 to 15 to “not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. 15 Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way.” If Solomon who was one of the wisest men of all time is telling his children this, shouldn’t we follow suit. The bible is very clear that we need to flee from evil. Solomon knew that sin is tempting and he warns his children to not even go down that path as they will be drawn in.
Parents, yes celebrate with your child the accomplishment of finishing year 12, but consider what is noble, loving, pure, honorable and true,” like it tells us in the book of Philippians, chapter 4, verse 8. Provide an alternative for them. Take them on a trip with just you, or a family vacation, or send them to camp, let them go on a mission trip, or a volunteer trip, do a group camping trip.
Talk with your child and find out their real reason of why they want to go and if they are a minor maybe you need to make the hard decision and tell them ‘no,’ for what is truly best for them you are saying “no.”
Genevieve Wilson is a happily married home-schooling mum of 3, whose passion is to see people come to know Jesus. She is a seminary wife to her amazing husband.
Genevieve Wilson is Canadian. a happily married home-schooling mum of 3, whose passion is to see people come to know Jesus. She is a seminary wife to her amazing husband.