This year’s Tequila Sunrise party was held at Martin’s Lake.

Near-tragedy at annual teen party in Princeton B.C.

A Princeton high school student was reportedly treated for alcohol poisoning Sept. 3, following an incident at a traditional party to kick-off to the school year, known as Tequila Sunrise.

RCMP were not involved in the situation, and Interior Health declined to confirm a patient was admitted, however residents of Princeton are speaking out about the near-tragedy.

One mother of a party goer, who asked to not be identified, said she learned a young man was driven to the hospital after drinking excessively. She was told he was “foaming at the mouth.”

The incident was also confirmed by other sources.

“We are really protective of privacy,” said Karl Hardt, communications officer for Interior Health. Hardt said confirming such an incident could inadvertently lead to identifying a possible patient in a small community.

He said staff at Princeton General Hospital are ready each year for any outcomes of Tequila Sunrise – a teenage gathering typically held on the night before school starts.

“The health centre is aware of the annual event and it’s discussed in advance and we have added staff to come in,” he said.

Hardt likened the hospital’s readiness to the preparations it would make for a large sporting event such as a ball tournament.

Over Labour Day weekend The Spotlight published an on-line editorial about the longstanding Princeton tradition, sparking considerable discussion on social media.

READ MORE: Everyone should show up for the first day of school sober

Jameel Aziz, assistant superintendent for the Nicola-Similkameen school district, said that last year several young people who attended the sunrise party walked through the doors on the first day “not ready for school.”

While Aziz said those children were picked up by their parents, people contacted the Spotlight to report the students were simply released and some of them drove home.

One woman told the newspaper her son was driven home by a friend who had been drinking, and she put forward a complaint to school officials.

Princeton Secondary School principal Kevin Leach, when contacted Monday, said he was aware of the party this year but did not know that any student suffered ill effects. He also declined to discuss the first day of school in 2018.

”I really have no comment on what happened last year,” said Leach. “I am focused on the education of the kids in our school.”

Aziz said after his initial conversation with The Spotlight he contacted the local administration and gave instructions that no student attending on the first day “not school ready” was to be allowed to leave except into the custody of a parent.

The party, which was held this year at Martin’s Lake and organized through a Facebook group chat, was moved from Monday night to Tuesday night.

Aziz said numerous absences were recorded Wednesday morning.

The Spotlight editorial, titled Everyone should show up for the first day of school sober, drew criticism from many on social media who defended the practice.

The mother who spoke to The Spotlight anonymously said: “I kind of feel I failed as a parent because I let my kid go..and I’m concerned about the next stupid sunrise party.”

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Festival of all things spicy kicks off Friday

Organizers say Sizzle keeps getting bigger and bigger

RDOS board remuneration, expenses come to $500,000

Costs presented in Statement of Financial Information

LocoLanding flowers brighten seniors’ day in Penticton

The many flowers that bloom in LocoLanding during the summer brighten the day for seniors

Affordable housing project in Okanagan Falls ready for tenants

South Skaha Place now accepting applications for affordable housing units

Shambhala named best music festival in North America

Shambhala Music Festival is held at the Salmo River Ranch in B.C.

Lake Country aims to find happy-medium in Airport Inn shutdown

Airport Inn residents will have until Oct. 5. to find a new home unless an appeal is approved

Okanagan resident recalls recovery journey after heart attack

Gerry Bakker shares his experience after his heart attack 16 years ago at the age of 48

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

B.C. bus crash survivor petitions feds to fix road where classmates died

UVic student’s petition well over halfway to 5k signature goal

Concert raised funds for Agur Lake Camp

Tim Nutt was headline act at Comedy Night Fundraiser in Summerland

Summerland music promoter wins national award

Paul Biro honoured at 2019 CCMA Awards in Calgary

Most Read