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Tell us: Would you allow your teen to ride on a party bus?




[ Donna Cooper, here with son Robert Cooper, runs Party Bus Xtreme. Lara Cerri | Times]

Students from both sides of Tampa Bay were sent to hospitals over the weekend after separate incidents involving alcohol, homecoming dances and party buses.

In St. Petersburg, an 18-year-old senior at the private Shorecrest Preparatory School spent more than 14 hours in intensive care after collapsing at the St. Petersburg Country Club on Saturday night. Chaperones found evidence of alcohol consumption on the bus that the student and 30 peers rode to the dance.

Meanwhile, in Plant City, school officials asked 28 students, including the homecoming queen, to leave the Durant High School dance after they arrived on a party bus. School officials believed some had been drinking. An ambulance was called for one of them, a 17-year-old, before she even stepped inside. 

Some party bus operators say they're aggressive about supervising teenagers, but teens sneak alcohol in plastic bottles or sandwich bags, or slip it down their trousers. A Shorecrest chaperone found beer cans and an empty bottle of vodka on the party bus.

Today's St. Petersburg Times story has been a hot topic on, ranking as the most popular story today and the most discussed. Readers are debating the teens' behavior, parents' responsibility and the schools' disciplinary action. 

We'd like to hear from you about party buses. If you're a parent, would you allow your child to ride on one? Would you feel like it's safer than allowing your child to drive -- or does the drinking get too out of control with little supervision?

[Last modified: Monday, May 24, 2010 3:58pm]


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