You Won’t Hate These Park Cities Kids

331If you hate everything about the stereotypical Park Cities kid, you’ll embrace Drater’s confident rebellion and Tiffany Houghton’s willingness to take a leap, giving up what most Highland Park High School students would consider the perfect life.

Drater (“retard” spelled backward) is a rock band formed by three 13-year-old Highland Park Middle School students. They’re big on AC/DC and Quiet Riot- not exactly the neighborhood norm. But that seems to be working for them ‘cause they’re getting booked all over town. You can see them Thursday night at Lakewood Bar and Grill. And to all the preppy punks looking down on Drater, I have a message for you.

Tiffany Houghton just finished her junior year at HPHS, her last as a Scot and-WAIT FOR IT-as a Highland Belle. She’s leaving her spot on the highly worshipped drill team and the comfort of HPISD to finish up at Booker T. Washington while she pursues her music career. Resigning from the Belles? That so does not happen everyday. You can see her in action at House of Blues on July 6.


  • yeah…um

    they’re a COVERBAND…talented musicians, but that does not mean they will become the next big thing.

    They are basically the kids from School of Rock…

  • Please retire the overused “WAIT FOR IT”.

    You write on a blog (well, sort of). But that does not mean you are required to be lazy with your style.

    I’m not a Politically Correct person, but ‘“retard” spelled backward’ is cute for HP kids. Let’s imagine if a rap duo from SOC had the same choice in name or, to keep things color-blind, a generic band from Balch Springs.


  • How is a kid from the Park Cities allowed to attend Booker T.?

  • Jason- you leave us and quickly forget, there are no rules for Parkies. If someone tries to enforce, we sue. But I don’t know the official answer.

  • fred

    Parkies have been attending Woodrow for years. Tuition was charged until a few years ago.

  • Brandy

    Please tell me the crossover between the PCP blog and FrontBurner is a temporary deal.

  • Tom

    @Jason: Same way a kid from Grapevine named Norah Jones did. If there are openings, people outside the district can apply and be acceptede.

  • Justin

    Headline is misleading, if deciding to leave the drill team makes you newsworthy you are automatically a kid I hate.

  • AmyB

    The “retard” part, although clearly objectionable, is an affectionate pet name for one of the band member’s father, so that’s the context. No offense intended.

  • kris

    You’re wrong

    rock, loud rock is popular in the Park Cities

    stop your stereotyping

    whats next?

    you being upset that black kids might be wanting to be wealthy???

  • jennywren

    I hope, then, that there were no DISD kids turned away from Booker T. As you say, no rules for Parkies…

  • itspamelar

    Yawn. I find the entire Park Cities crowd objectionable, but they seem to like their little bubble.

  • Buckeye

    Do you hate a lot of kids?

  • JohnA

    This is too funny. Who cares about the name of a pubescent kid band, choice of music, or where they live? When I was 13 I was happy to go to the YMCA camp and hunt bugs. The PCP article says they are good students, play sports, and are good musicians. Sheeze. Dallas people are nuts.

  • yeah…um

    I’m beginning to wonder if D Magazine should rename itself PC (No not that PC…) Magazine.

    Everyone there seems to be absolutely infatuated with the Park Cities and their people.

    Can we get more Zac Crain please?

  • Droopster

    Did Frontburner lose a bet or do you just want to Attract the attention of people who hate merit Patterson to really increase your readership. Who cares about the dartheads or whatever.

  • BarneyFife

    I like to read her opinionated rants rather than the fluffy nonsense called the Dallas Morning News. Besides, I think this article was kinda tame for her.

  • Senor

    Back in my day, there were no 13-year-old kids who could play guitar that well. Good for them!

  • Good for you kids. Great job of being creative and fun. good for you parents supporting them. You might rethink the name. It definitely does offend people and I’m sure it’s not your intent.

  • Deb43

    I took my daughter and her friends to see them and they were really good. 13, 16, 19…whatever age, they were good. I don’t think it was all cover music. Not a Parkie…but who cares about that? I think it’s silly.

  • Old Air Guitarist

    Well, the lead guitarist thrashes a pretty mean Led Zeppelin. Say what you will about all the other stuff, but I’m deeply impressed.

  • Down wind

    I have met a couple of the boys. They appear to be really good kids. Park Cities, Plano, DISD, Frisco…if kids do good, we should be a fan of that. Who cares where they live, what music they listen to, or what sports they play.

  • Speaking of kid rockers, Dick Sullivan once opined about the strange contradictions that arise when you treat rock and roll like soccer practice. Something just doesn’t feel right:

  • Gary Adams

    In Texas school districts can allow open enrollment. This allows students living in one school district to attend a school in another district. This is left to the district’s discretion. While living in Texarkana, I allowed one of my daughters to attend Texas Senior High School although we lived in the Pleasant Grove School District. She wanted to graduate from the same school as I did.

  • Down wind

    @ PeterSimek. So, lacrosse, kids taking protein drinks to get bigger for football, or taking theater lessons to be an actor is better? Kids have to have dreams, be supported, and be monitored by parents. I don’t get your comment “something just doesn’t feel right.” I think that your comment is ‘wrong’

  • Penny Lane

    I think Tiffany is doing the right thing. By the time she graduates, no one will care that she was Highland Belle. No one. Besides, she is really, really good.

  • Doug

    Nothing says oh so cool and urban trendy like turning your back on those evil richie riches to go hang with the po’ folk. If any of you other Park City-ers want to be a working mans hero, i’ll gladly take your property off your hands for $50 and a six pack of Pabst Blue ribbon, because we both know that paying full market price is just bourgeoisie.

  • Sorry Down wind, for me, rock and roll is at its best when it is about giving your parents the finger.

  • Down wind

    @ PeterSimek. Now that (and the video) is pretty funny:)

  • LakeWWWooder

    40 School of Rock bands performed on five different stages in Deep Ellum on May 29th to raise money for the International Baccalaureate programs at Woodrow Wilson High School and J. L. Long Middle School. That didn’t rate a mention on Frontburner!

  • Buddy Grange

    @ LakeWWWooder. That is good to point out. I wonder how many area “privileged” sports teams have had raised money for public school Baccalaureate programs. Good post. That’s teaching kids the right way to give back.

  • Donkeylove

    The band name is great. Don’t be so thin skinned folks. Some people just have to find something to complain about. It’s a rock band for christ sakes.

  • ;)

    Ok look HP is known for being PARKIES… But Tiffany is amazing and for her to leave belles for pursuing her career is a HUGE move. In highland park being a belle is like being a celebrity, for her to give up the dream LIFE of the average parkie girl that’s major and really shows how much she cares about her talent.

    Now Drater yes they are very young and still learning, you have to give them props for going out of the “bubble” to pursue their dreams much like Tiffany. Drater mostly does Covers but they have written their first original song and have been talking to record companies! Believe it or not they are very talented and will do what it takes to make their dreams come true.

    I don’t think we should be talking about how outrageous it Is for PARKIES to be fufilling their goals, but we should just be cheering them on!

  • Bluebird

    My daughter has been to hear the band and she thinks they are awesome. Great music and good kids sounds like a winning combination to me.

  • Cim Reggaj

    I hear they are playing a LB&G Thursday. Let’s check it before we shoot it.

  • Mike

    I believe the actress Elizabeth Owens (Juliette on Lost, lead in failed V remake) lived in HP but went to Booker T.

  • Mike

    Elizabeth Mitchell – Elizabeth Owens is an old actress who is dead.

  • There are and have been, quite a few musical talents come out of Jesuit … just sayin..

  • mk

    I’ve seen Drater a handful of times and let me tell you, they are a super-talented bunch of nice kids who are very talented. They have a strong work ethic and rehearse for hours each week, in addition to their school work and sports activities. I hope all the people ragging on them here take to opportunity to go see them sometime; seeing these talented kids tear up the stage will drive the snottiness and cynicism right out of you!

  • RJ

    OTOH HP doesn’t allow transfers in – those pesky minorities who frighten Parkies at North Park might apply.

  • JM

    1.) Out of district kids audition and are accepted at Booker T ahead of in district kids. No open enrollment at other schools, just poor enforcement.
    2.) Drater is a poor choice of names and offensive to the families of mentally challenged kids, at least this family. We get enough of that already.

  • Geez, I’ve never read such fervent comments about an article that brings attention to talented kids with a passion for music. Who cares where the kids come from?

    And to the basher who first commented, “the are a cover band”…artists, whether they be musicians, painters or sculptors, learn and hone their skills through inspiration from those before them. Everybody must start somewhere and frankly who better than Paige, Vaughn and Hendrix?

  • LakeWWWooder

    One may apply for enrollment at Woodrow for International Baccalaureate or one of the other college prep academies from out-of-district. This is one of the forms required:

  • Becca

    If they wouldn’t have told you that “Drater” was “retard” spelled backwards, would you still have been offended?

    They realized that “retard” is offensive and changed the name. Why be offended? And, I’ve worked with mentally challenged kids, so I guess I just don’t get why the name spelled backwards is offensive.

  • A.H.

    Not sure why commenters think these kids are getting bashed here, I don’t see anyone really hating on these kids. A few comments about the name but nothing vitriolic. I think the post started the negativity – it starts with the presumption that people hate Park Cities kids then goes on to perpetuate the negative stereotypes associated with them. And then she says that Park Cities people have no rules and sue people who try to enforce rules. Wha??? That’s the offensive part of this post.

  • bmct

    Ok guys listen up, i personally know that band and have asked them about the name…. it was created when they were like ten so are you really gonna get all mad about something that kids did? Also, one of the band member’s cousins is mentally retard and I know he didn’t mean it personally. Over all i’ve seen this band a few times and let me just say the put on a really great show! Great kids, great music, great time, can’t get much better than that.

  • A dude from GP

    I saw these kids play a battle of the band show in Grand Prairie. They won 1st place, beating 2 other bands that are way better and more experienced by far. The mommies and daddies of these kids bought the votes to boost their self esteem it seems…Highland Park kids…go figure.