EDITORIAL: Teens' antics give life lessons

York Dispatch

Actions have consequences.

Bad actions have bad consequences.

That's a necessary lesson that every young person must learn.

Dozens of York County teenagers became painfully aware of that over the past couple of weeks in the aftermath of a pair of disturbing incidents.

The first occurred on Friday, Oct. 16, when the Susquehannock junior varsity football team was allegedly involved in locker-room hazing activity.

No one was hurt, which is fortunate, but Southern York County School District officials, once they learned about what happened, correctly reported the incident to Southern Regional Police, which launched an investigation.

Just a couple days later, a Jackson Township couple was charged with providing alcohol to 22 minors during a party at their house. The minors were charged with underage drinking. Twelve of those minors were reportedly Dover High School athletes, and at least half of them were football players. Those athletes can no longer compete in fall sports.

Not surprisingly, a short-handed Dover football team got crushed by York Suburban just a few days later, 55-27, in a game that had been billed a possible showdown for the York-Adams Division II championship. Both teams entered with unbeaten division records. One team left with its championship dreams in tatters.

The moral of the story?

It's simple. Inappropriate behavior can lead to unwanted, and unintended, results.

In many ways, the students involved are actually fortunate that they were caught. If they hadn't, they likely would've continued to act improperly and put themselves and others in danger. Someone could've been seriously hurt, or worse. There are plenty of hazing and underage drinking stories that have had tragic endings.

Teenagers, as a group, generally believe they are indestructible. That's been true for centuries. It's a natural part of being young and strong, but also being immature and inexperienced.

Time and knowledge are the only known cures for this delusion.

Maybe, just maybe, the teenagers involved in these unfortunate incidents learned something vitally important.

Actions have consequences.

Bad actions have bad consequences.

If that is the case, something useful will have emerged from two useless situations.