Teens take dangerous risks when ‘whipping’

Recently, a new word has been added to the CHS urban dictionary: whipping.  No, students are not beating each other with leather straps.  Instead they are sneaking out of their houses, stealing their parent’s cars and driving around without a permit or license.
These students seem to have forgotten the past tragedies of teen-car related deaths and partake in this activity despite potential serious consequences.
“You are risking your academic and athletic careers, your real career and your life to do something that does not have a high payout,” junior Colin Asbury said.  “To the whippers out there, I would like to ask: ‘What do you get out of it?’”
According to Montgomery County police officer Candice Marchone, if students get caught whipping, they will receive a citation, have their parents notified, have their permit or provisional extended, have their license further delayed and possibly pay a fine, appear in court and have their car towed.
Even with the risks of injury and punishment, some students are still drawn to whipping. 
“You just feel empowered because you can go anywhere you want whenever [you want],” sophomore Jack* said.
According to senior Eric*, many kids use illegal drugs, drink underage and break into places while whipping.
Along with the other illegal activities that they do, whippers also take part in thrills like road-racing.
According to Eric, usually there are some “friendly races” among whippers and a lot of “speeding and reckless driving.”
Although there may be some hazardous activities going on, some students find whipping relaxing because it is an opportunity to have a good time with friends.
“To have [fun] whipping you have to pick up some friends, blast music, find a party, bring bathing suits for late-night swims and hit up restaurants like IHOP and McDonalds,” Jack said. 
However, a good time can go down the drain in a matter of seconds when students get caught by their parents or the police.
According to Eric, he got in trouble in ninth grade whenhis dad called the cops on him.
Other parents do not reprimand their kids for going on these late-night excursions.
“[My parents] caught me sneaking out of the house, but I didn’t get punished,” Jack said.
With the various things that could go wrong, some students see no appeal to whipping.
“[Whipping] makes me question the sanity of people I know that do it,” Asbury said.  “I can’t see how people would consider driving drunk at triple the speed limit a good time.  So many things could go wrong, but sadly, people won’t change their habits until something does.”
According to PTSA Recording Secretary Joy Stein, whipping is reckless and dangerous and seems to be an accident just waiting to happen.
Stein also feels that the punishments towards the students involved should be harsher.
“If a teen is caught ‘whipping,’ I don’t think that teen should be allowed to get a license until they are 18,” Stein said.  “Hopefully by that age, the teen would be responsible enough to realize how dangerous the activity was, and that the ‘driver’ endangered his own life and the lives of his friends.”
Along the possibility of consequences for the whippers themselves, it is also important to recognize how much it can impact others who are not directly involved.
“A public road means that other people are on the road, and if you hit someone, it’s going to be ugly,” Asbury said.  “I also feel sorry for parents who may have to deal with the loss of a son or daughter.”