This article was written by Launch Education Asia Chidekel. Asia is a senior at New Community Jewish High School and will attend the University of Puget Sound in the fall. Click through to the Launch Education site for the whole article.
Performing the ‘Reality Party’: A Tool for Parents of Party-ers
The “reality party” is an experience that shocks, educates, and demonstrates for parents what the reality is today in the teenage partying world. These reality parties are created by an organization called “Straight Up”, located in Ventura County. The home page states, “Many adults feel drinking and drug use is a rite of passage and think teen parties are the same as when they were young. Straight Up Youth wants parents to face the current realities and learn why and how we need adults to help change these dangerous social norms in Ventura County.”
This is how a reality party works: different teen actors are instructed to portray certain scenes that one could find in an actual house party. There are several different scenarios portrayed, some including alcohol, drugs, fighting, and sex. A group of parents then walks through the house led by a tour guide. Each is able to gain insight with regards to what actually occurs during a teen party. While the scenes take place, the participants are able to voice concerns that many teens and young adults actually have about what goes on.
After the half hour tour, the group of parents is led to a separate room where they are able to address a panel of reliable educated adults, including a police officer, a school counselor, a pediatrician specializing in unexpected deaths, and occasionally, an older teen with experience and knowledge about what actually happens at parties and among his or her peers.