Staff Ed: Parent alcohol education program predicted to be successful
With the 2011-2012 school year, JC not only saw a change in authority, but a change in several rules and programs. Efforts to revive the “green” status of the school sprang into action, food became taboo in the library, and both faculty and students began to don purple every Friday. Principal Madelyn Ball has been quick on the changes indeed.
Ball has also announced that she is planning to reform the drug and alcohol policy. She mentioned in her opening address to the school that it will involve educating students and getting parental involvement. Until now, students have only seen the drug and alcohol policy become combined into one policy in their handbooks. However, parents will now be filling out emailed forms that must be completed for an educational program called “AlcoholEdu.” If they don’t consent to completing the program, their children will not be admitted to the homecoming dance floor.
It certainly is an interesting approach, but the question is, will it work? Will having parents completing this program for their children just so that they can attend homecoming actually cut down on
The answer, after viewing the program firsthand, seems to be yes. It’s true that only time will tell if this new educational approach to tackling underage drinking will be more effective than the way the administration previously dealt with drinking incidents.
However, it certainly seems to be off to a promising start. The program is straight and to the point, and only takes about 20 minutes to complete. Making it a requirement will hopefully ensure that parents will take the time to complete it and learn valuable information.
The program helps parents understand how to start a conversation with their kids about alcohol and how to make their talk effective. In this program, there are several video clips of students that express their honest opinions about things parents can do to develop an open and trusting relationship with their child, especially when it comes to serious topics such as underage drinking. There are
also solid statistics about how many students are drinking and what signs to look for if they suspect that their child is drinking.
The program also makes various suggestions to parents, such as being aware of what’s going on in their child’s life. Parents are given the responsibility to ensure that their children refrain from drinking. As much as students hate to admit it, they often don’t think about the consequences of drinking. Parents have to realize that when their children are participating in underage drinking, they are breaking a law.
Parents must serve as role models and be there for their kids when peer pressure gets tough, but sometimes they might not know where to begin with their child. This program is a great start to cutting down on underage drinking, and, although it’s required, it doesn’t force parents to do anything but look through the information and consider going over it with their child. One awkward conversation about alcohol could save lives.
Students should encourage their parents to complete this program with them. Give it a chance. Give your parents a chance.
Parents are the ones who are most likely paying for that homecoming ticket anyways, and not to mention JC’s hefty tuition. They care, and you should too. You have your whole life to drink responsibly after 21, so don’t ruin your high school years doing it irresponsibly now.