Drinking games have long been part of the teen and young adult culture but now a new breed of drinking game played on the Internet is claiming young lives.
People may have seen stories on television in recent days talking about teenagers dying of alcohol poisoning while playing the Internet drinking game called Neknominate or Neknomination.
People may think this game — which requires participants to perform various stunts while intoxicated, then post the results online before nominating friends to continue — is played in big cities or some other land, but think again.
In recent days there have been rumblings that students right here in Williams Lake are taking the dangerous drinking challenges that could end their lives prematurely.
Superintendent of Schools Mark Thiessen confirms that over the past couple of days he has been made aware that some School District 27 students may be involved in the online drinking game.
But he also points out there is no evidence of this type of activity happening in school time or on school property.
However, as an educator he is concerned that parents are aware of the game and will caution their children about its potentially harmful results.
“As educators, we are obviously concerned about the health and safety of our students,” Thiessen says.
“As this is new information for us, there has not been a specific district strategy put in place to discuss this with students, but I am sure that individual secondary school teachers are likely having conversations with their students.
“I would also encourage parents to caution their kids that by participating in such a game, young people are placing themselves in possible physical danger.”
On top of the possible physical harm, Thiessen notes that these stunts are usually uploaded to the Internet which could pose problems for students in the future when it comes to getting jobs or higher education.
“This could mean that these young people may ultimately impact scholarship and university applications as well as future employment opportunities,” Thiessen says. “There may be huge life-altering consequences for a momentary lack of judgment.”
It should be noted that Tribune/Weekend Advisor staff members have observed at least a dozen local students participating in the game on Facebook.