They are always going to do what they seem to think they were put on this earth to do -- rebel.
We may never find a way to keep teens from staying out past curfew or trying to buy cigarettes from the local convenience store. We'll never keep them from feeling peer pressure or from taking a shot to see what being drunk is like.
Kids will be kids.
But we don't need to put that bottle in their hands. We don't need to be a catalyst to their rebellion.
So when businesses are lax about checking IDs, we -- nor local law enforcement -- take that offense lightly.
Recently, three local businesses were caught selling to minors during a compliance check by the Craig Police Department -- Cork & Bottle Shop, The Galaxy Restaurant and all three Kum & Go locations.
Some owners and managers may claim that the problem lies with one employee, the one server who did not check a minor's ID. They think their issues have passed because that same employee had since quit or been fired.
We think one employee not doing what the law dictates is indicative of a string of problems. Most namely, we think the problem lies in training.
Local bar, restaurant and convenience store owners and managers need to realize that even if just one employee is not checking -- and likely there are more they don't know about -- it reveals a flaw in the system.
Even if just one employee is selling to minors, there's a problem in the company's training. Every employee needs to understand the importance and consequence of making alcohol available to customers under the age of 21.
It's true, in a small town like Craig, it's common for employees and customers to know each other. And, whether those buying alcohol are old enough or not, it's easy to let checking IDs slip.
But we need to be careful. There are implications to our actions. We need to check IDs every time, no exceptions. If companies make this the policy for their employees, there will be no question about whether they're checking or not.
And there's training for employers and their staff to learn how to check IDs to make sure they're real. Even though it requires time and money, we think that training is critical.
We need to keep alcohol out of teens' hands, or at least as much as we're capable of.
It's not just harmless rebellion.
We've already seen this summer the tragic ramifications of underage drinking. We don't want to see that again.
Local businesses need to make training and the practice of checking IDs -- every time -- a priority.
Let's not just let kids be kids. Let's do the right thing.