Local News

New Hot Line May Shut Down Underage Drinking by Wakefield Students

Posted March 25, 2007
Updated April 12, 2007

Concerned parents at Wakefield High School hope to stop underage drinking with a phone call.

Alcohol-related crashes killed five Wakefield students within a year. Last March, four students died when their car plunged off the U.S. Highway 64 bypass. Tests show the driver was drunk.

Ten months later, Wakefield senior Sadiki Young died when the car he was riding in crashed. Afterward, investigators had to deal with a wall of silence from other Wakefield students about the underage drinking that preceded the accident.

The 18-year-old driver from the crash has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. Six other Wakefield students were arrested on alcohol-related charges in connection with the house party Young and the driver went to before the crash.

That's when Maria Chansler of Wakefield's Parent-Teacher-Student Association came up with the idea of a tip line. Chansler hopes people will report future parties and other illegal behavior to a new, toll-free number.

“We want our kids to come forward with their concerns and have no ramifications whatsoever,” she said.

An answering service will field the calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Operators will take down the information and forward it to the appropriate authorities. The system is completely anonymous.

Alcohol Law Enforcement director Mike Robertson says the more specific the tip, the better agents can respond.

“We'd go look at the house party and if it was apparent it was an underage situation, then we'd take the appropriate enforcement action,” Robertson said.

Last weekend, ALE agents busted up a party where they say Wakefield students were drinking after a tip on their own hot line. Chansler hopes the Wakefield tip line will work just as well.

“That's truly our goal...is to save our kids,” she said.

Wakefield's anonymous tip line will be unveiled at Wednesday's PTSA meeting. It's made possible through proceeds from Wakefield's 5K Run last October.

To report any underage drinking at any North Carolina location, concerned citizens can call the ALE hot line at 1-877-ALE-AGENT.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • right-of-center Mar 27, 2007

    Trooper, Longballs, Raleighman...you are on target. Unfortunately, the left-wing liberals of the world are so concerned with our children's rights that they've forgotten that kids have the "right" to be raised with discipline. I am a single mom with two teenagers, and if I had not felt stripped of my right to discipline my kids early on, I am certain that they would more often consider the consequences of their actions rather than the immediate gratification of the "here and now". Parents aren't allowed to be parents anymore, teachers aren't allowed to be teachers, and we are left to tread lightly around our children at times - when it should be the other way around.

  • give me no quarter Mar 27, 2007

    The party is off for tonight, thanks to that darn hot line. LOL. Kids will be kids, look after your own.

  • 07_Bama_Resi Mar 26, 2007

    I totally agree with Tarheel and Kaecee. My mother knows I go to parties, and she would much rather me call her then drive drunk. Obviously I would hear a lot of b*tching, but it'd rather hear that then my mother crying any day of the week.

  • 07_Bama_Resi Mar 26, 2007

    PMS - Get over the "perfect kids." Believe it or not, the ones sitting in the pews are SOMETIMES just as bad as the ones at the parties, but just lie and act perfect. I used to go to a church in Dunn (The outskirts of Dunn, more Plainview). Anyways, the preachers kids were "oh-so-great." HA, Go to camp with them flashing everyone, streaking, and best of all, the preacher's son got caught getting oral sex by another saint of the youth group. I'm 17, don't feed me that crock of ... Probably one-fourth of them haven't smoked, drank or done anything sexual. Yes, some people change, but this day in time, it's hard to steer clear of.

  • kaecee Mar 26, 2007

    Tarheel_1980, I've been trying to make this point the entire time. As you've read earlier, someone wanted to take my car, cellphone, and leave me in a room with bed, clothes, and dresser to solve the problem...lol. Can you imagine why parents with that mentality will never have their kids call them if they are in trouble?

  • tarheel1980 Mar 26, 2007

    Kaecee; If that's your point, then you and I are pulling in the same direction. Thanks for the clarification.

  • kaecee Mar 26, 2007

    tarheel_1980, you twisted my words. Teenagers will make bad choices because they are not thinking rationally. What I am saying is that instead of parents thinking they don't have to communicate with their child on certain issues because they won't EVER do certain things, talk to them. Let them know,"Hey Johnny/Suzie, I don't want you to drink PERIOD. However, if you do, I'd rather you pick up the phone and call us and have you come and pick you up rather than get behind the wheel of a car." It's better to have mad parents with living children versus nieve parents with dead children. That's what I am saying.

  • tarheel1980 Mar 26, 2007

    I agree RaleighMan!

  • RaleighMan Mar 26, 2007

    Way to go. Let's get the kids of the world bigger helmets! Has this world gotten so dang PC that we're too afraid to point a finger anymore? This issue is the sole responsibility of the parents that are supposed to be raising these kids.

    Yea...give Johnny his $100 of allowance for the week and then leave for a 3 night weekend at the beach and tell Johnny not to have any parties in the house. Is it just a coincidence that this is happening to privileged teenagers of Wakefield? I think not. Rather it's p-poor parenting.

  • tarheel1980 Mar 26, 2007

    Dr. and Kaecee; I am still not getting solutions from you, only your opinion that there is nothing that can be done. Dr. doesn't want to force parents to do anything, leaving it up to them to maybe do something. Kaecee seems to be saying that it is okay because kids will be kids and do the darndest things. That doesn't solve the problem.

    What is being missed is the impact on the community. Up until now, the main victims have been the high school students themselves. It could just have easily, however, been someone that they did not know, an innocent bystander. Going 90 MPH in a neighborhood can hurt a lot of people.

    WE have to take action and make sure that this never happens again.