Fulton County authorities say that a 14-year-old high school student took his own life the day after police were called to a party at his home that allegedly involved underage drinking and marijuana use. According to the medical examiner’s office, the teen shot himself.
The boy’s parents were away at the time of the party at the family’s home in Milton. He was left with his 20-year-old sister, who reportedly was participating in the activities.
According to police, who were called to the home by someone who reported kids on the front lawn “drinking beer and smoking weed,” they found “numerous empty cans of beer” inside the house. Officers say that two teens jumped out of a bedroom window and ran across a nearby golf course when they arrived.
Police cited ten 14 and 15 year olds. They were released to parents, except for the boy who threw the party. He was left at home with his sister, who was instructed to “call her mother or father and advise them that her brother is having an underage drinking party at their home.” They were reportedly out of town.
The deceased teen was a ninth grader at Cambridge High School. The Fulton County School District provided counselors for his classmates the following week.
Although this is a rather unusual case, underage drinking can have all kinds of tragic results. Parents who leave minors unattended by a responsible adult can potentially face criminal as well as civil liability if underage drinking occurs in their home and particularly if someone is harmed as a result.
While it may not make you the popular parent, it’s essential to do everything within your power to prevent underage drinking in your home and to make sure that you know where your kids are and who is supervising them.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Cambridge High School mourns death of student,” Michelle E. Shaw, Dec. 17, 2016