The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

July 17, 2013

Peer pressure: non-swimmer egged on by ‘friends’


TARBORO — Peer pressure. It’s something that many teens and preteens experience as a rite of passage from childhood to adulthood.

An 11-year-old girl who jumped off the diving board at Tarboro Community Pool on July 3 without knowing how to swim isn’t the only local pre-teen who has succumbed to peer pressure. D.K.W., 12, of Princeville, found himself in a similar situation when a group of peers at the Community Pool pressured him to jump off the diving board.

“They told me they were going to set a bad name for me if I didn’t,” said D.K.W. “I didn’t want to have that bad name, so I did it.”

D.K.W. knows how to swim.

Pre-teens and teens at the Clark Pool on Tuesday afternoon talked about the peer pressure they have experienced.

“I was peer pressured to throw a paper bottle at the teacher and hit him with it. I thought they were my friends, but they really wasn’t,” said Zynia Grant, 12.

“People kept pushing me, trying to get me to fight,” said Davonatte McDowell, 12. “I didn’t do it. I went to the principal.”

“Some of my buddies that I hang with tried to get me to play Chinese knock-knock. You go around and you knock on people doors and you run away. I didn’t do it,” said Kendrick Pittman, 13.

“Some of my friends tried to pressure me into smoking weed. I said, ‘No.’ I didn’t do it,” said Raekwon Hines, 17.

A June 17 article published in the Winston-Salem Journal points to new studies suggesting that teens may give in to peer pressure because their brains “derive more pleasure from social acceptance than adult brains.”

When faced with peer pressure, some Edgecombe County teens have given in for one reason or the other, while others have had the audacity to say, “No.”