Senior Beach Week 2012: Parents should allow their kids to attend it

For many graduating seniors, Beach Week has been as much a cornerstone of year-end celebrations as prom, graduation, and the parties that accompany both.

However, recent worries about petty crime and substance abuse have put the damper on school-end festivities, forcing close parental supervision into a former celebration of newfound maturity.

“My parents were fine with [me going to Beach Week], mostly because they know who I am,” 2011 graduate Meghan Smith said. Smith decided to forgo the most popular destination among graduating seniors, Myrtle Beach, and instead went to Duck, South Carolina to avoid the trouble and rowdiness Myrtle is popularly opined to be host to, due to the excessive drinking and partying that occurs.

   “I didn’t want to participate in illicit activities, I just wanted a week at the beach with my friends,” Smith said. 

Smith said she was able to reach a comfortable median with her parents, staying at a house far away from her home, while also being safe and responsible in her parents’ eyes.

Parents’ fears of petty crime occurrences are not entirely unfounded. According to a report published by, crime in Myrtle Beach is higher than most other counties in South Carolina, particularly during the summer tourist season, possibly due to the influx of out-of-towners.

In 2010, the Myrtle Beach Police department reported an average 684 offenses per 1,000 people, well above the national average of 300 offenses per 1,000 people. The vast majority of the crimes committed in Myrtle are non-violent, with the highest being burglaries and theft.

However, the incidences of rape and murder are still above the state average, but have dropped significantly in recent years, due to ongoing efforts by the Myrtle Beach Police Department.

However, the number of violent crimes committed pale in comparison to nearby cities, such as D.C. and Baltimore, both with murder, rape, and assault rates well above Myrtle’s.

Despite the possibilities of crime and mayhem, Beach Week remains an essential chance for teens to prove their maturity, as well as their ability to look after themselves.

Parents who are unable to trust their children for a single week away from home are not prepared to allow them to live on their own at college for much longer periods.

While the differences between a college campus and a resort town are notable, the idea remains the same, namely that young adults must be given opportunities to prove their maturity.