San Marcos High School hosted its second annual Halloween panel this Tuesday to warn of the potential repercussions should high school students indulge in this weekend’s Isla Vista revelry.
Various organizations were represented at the forum, including the Isla Vista Foot Patrol, Santa Barbara Teen Legal Clinic and Santa Barbara County Emergency Medical Services Agency. A main concern at the panel was a fear that the crowds of drunken young adults in Isla Vista may find it entertaining to prey on younger kids, making I.V. a dangerous place for high school youths.
UCSB alumnus Cameron Gray, an organizer of the event, said the panel was down-to-earth, acknowledging the likelihood that many high school students will indeed venture to I.V., while they addressed the logistics of subsequent safety concerns.
“This meeting was all about how students can stay safe in I.V. on Halloween should they go,” Gray said.
Panelists also discussed the legal and medical ramifications of going to I.V. for Halloween by listing numerous frequent Halloween violations such as Minor in Possession and Public Intoxication, as well as health concerns like alcohol poisoning, bodily injury or even death.
According to Lt. Brian Olmstead of the IVFP, high school students’ lack of familiarity with Isla Vista’s environment and its laws puts them at an immediate disadvantage.
“They are not in their environment, so this alienating factor causes them to be in more danger,” Olmstead said.
Marc Burdick of Santa Barbara County Emergency Medical Services said there is no place for high school students in I.V. this weekend.
“It is absolutely unsafe for high school students to be in I.V. for Halloween,” Burdick said.
Savanna Swain-Wilson, a first-year film & media studies major, said she personally partook in I.V.’s Halloween festivities as a high school student, a decision she later came to realize as dangerous.
“[Halloween in I.V.] was like Disneyland on a holiday weekend, but for all of the alcoholics,” Swain-Wilson said. “But I’ll be honest, coming as a high school [student] was frightening. I wouldn’t advise it. There are too many people, especially older creeps, [which is] dangerous for young high school girls.”