It is unlikely that there breathes a nervous parent of teen-agers today who doesn’t at least recall years ago hearing about, or maybe even attending, one of those giant parties in a neighborhood where admission was charged at the door.
But in Orange County this year, the worst fears of parents have been realized: In Los Alamitos earlier this month, the city went so far as to ban such parties after a 17-year-old host was stabbed to death. In Yorba Linda, the city is pondering the same action after a 23-year-old man was stabbed to death last weekend at a party that had been billed on flyers at Esperanza High School.
The impulse prompting legislation to bar such parties arises from good enough intentions. However, existing laws prohibiting underage drinking and the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors surely are sufficient to provide authorities due cause to close down such gatherings. Fire and safety codes can do the job too.
A city doesn’t need a special ordinance prohibiting parties where admission is charged.
What’s called for, most of all, is an ounce of preventive good sense from host parents. When they fall down on the job, local and state ordinances serve in loco parentis .