Revellers keen to stay out of trouble
By ED SOUTHORN
TWEED schoolies are confident they will keep away from trouble in Surfers Paradise next week and believe it is only a small proportion of teenagers who endanger themselves and others.
Pierce Wilcox, 16, of Terranora, yesterday said most young students who finished their HSC this week did not agree with Byron mother Helen Cahill, who has called for Schoolies Week celebrations to be banned.
Mrs Cahill's 16-year-old son Dylan fell to his death from an eleventh floor high rise unit in Coolangatta in 2001.
Pierce said he was saddened to read of Dylan's death, but points out most schoolies manage to stay safe.
He plans to travel to Surfers Paradise over the next few days with a friend who has a driver's licence.
"With such a massive number of people at Schoolies, something is bound to go wrong for someone," Pierce said.
"But for the vast number of us, it's just a time to get together with your friends and have some fun."
Beau Bright, 17, of South Tweed, said the police presence at Schoolies Week had grown each year and teenagers were now well aware that police would be highly visible and intolerant of misbehaviour.
Michael Vandersteen, 18, of Murwillumbah, is staying in a unit not far from Cavill Mall with some mates this weekend.
"We're going to enjoy ourselves for sure, but we'll make sure we're careful," Michael said.
He said it was up to each schoolie to take care of himself and look out for others.
Rebecca Doak, 17, of South Tweed, said schoolies celebrations were never as bad as they were portrayed.
Tameka Burridge, 17, of Terranora, said the first week of the schoolies party, was renowned as the best.
The second week was usually over-run with interstate schoolies, and some older "toolies", when many NSW schoolies returned home or continued celebrating the end of their school lives else-where.
Tameka and her friends will stay in a unit at Marcoola on the Sunshine Coast for the second week.