Sunday, May 15, 2011

Different Verse, Same as the First

It seems that every year around this time; I find myself commenting on the alcohol problem in this country. In 2009, I wrote "Who is the Real Bad Guy," and in 2010, I wrote "What's Past is Prologue..." Here I am again, writing yet again about this problem-teens and alcohol. Earlier this week, the following item appeared on my homepage "Facebook Photos Land 11 Athletes Lengthy Suspensions." A parent saw these athletes on Facebook acting inappropriately and turned their names in to the principal. Before Yahoo and a problem with the comments, I decided to read a few. *side note: I probably should stop that practice because it only succeeds in making me angry.* They were yelling at the "Busy-body mom whose kid probably wasn't invited," "Jealous mom who wasn't included when she was in high school," or "kids will be kids, and the school can't control what our kids do after school, that's the parent's responsibility." Au contraire mon frere...

Schools can and do punish students all the time for activities outside of school. Why? It is because they represent the school 24/7. On Facebook, most students have their school name right at the top of their profile. You are arrested; you can be suspended. You are caught with alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs; can be suspended. It happens...But that is not the point of my rant.

The point of my rant was for every one person that seemed to defend the school, there was 3 or 4 who were defending the children. Wait, what? The kids broke the rule, the school follows the rule, but once again, the school is wrong. Did you miss that the kids broke the law? Don't give me that "we were all young once" garbage. That is a cop out. Period. You should not be encouraging this behavior in our youth. They have enough of that poor reinforcement from Jersey Shore, Bad Girls Club, The Real World, and practically every other reality show on television. They look at celebrity behavior [Hollywood] Rick Springfield, Ricardo Chavira, Andy Dick, Christina Aguilera, Tallulah Belle Willis, Jaime Pressly, not to mention their sports icons like, [MLB] Derek Lowe, Shin-Soo Choo, Adam Kennedy, Austin Kearns, Miguel Cabrera, Coco Crisp, [NCAA] Michael Floyd, Mitch Mustain, Darryl Stonum, [NFL] Alex MaGee, Antwan Applewhite, Bryant McCann, Jayson Kaiser, Louis Murphy, Johnny Jolly, Michael Bush, Everson Griffen, Luke Driscoll [NBA] Al Jefferson, Jalen Rose (retired). All of these "stars" were arrested since January for either DUI or drug possession.

Being an athlete is a privilege, not a right. If a student's grades aren't good enough, they are kicked off the team. Why shouldn't a student-athlete's behavior affect his ability to be on the team? It happens in every extracurricular activity. Four Auburn players were kicked off the team for stealing. Why should teen age drinking be any different? Both groups broke the law. There is no difference. Period. If being on the team means that much to you, you would not be poisoning your body anyway. Why are we encouraging this "Kids will be kids behavior." As you can see, they don't learn self control as adults. Colleges are worse when it comes to drinking. So, why are we "training" them in high school and as young as junior high school?Bold
Teenage drinking leads to other bad behavior:

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among youth ages 15 to 20. The rate of fatal crashes among alcohol-involved drivers between 16 and 20 years old is more than twice the rate for alcohol-involved drivers 21 and older.
Alcohol use interacts with conditions such as depression and stress to contribute to suicide, the third leading cause of death among people between the ages of 14 and 25. In one study, 37 percent of eighth grade females who drank heavily reported attempting suicide, compared with 11 percent who did not drink.
Research has associated adolescent alcohol use with high-risk sex, for instance, multiple partners or unprotected sex. The consequences of high-risk sex also are common in this age group, particularly unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.
Suspension from the team is the least of their problems. Parents, you do realize if you provide alcohol to students who are not your children (in some states even your own children), you are contributing to the delinquency of a minor. That carries a charge for each child, plus each alcoholic beverage that it is proven you served them. 20 kids, 5 beers a piece could carry 100 counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Depending on the state, Contributing is considered a Class A misdemeanor that can carry up to a one-year sentence and up $10,000, per charge. Is it worth it? How many of you are willing to shell out $10,000 dollars or spend 6-12 months in jail to be the cool parent? Is it worth losing your job? Your reputation? I know that I am in the minority. But, I've lost friends and a student to a drunk driver. I hope you never do.

Until next time, "If you have to drink to be with your friends, what does that say about your friends? What does that say about you?"

1 comment:

  1. "Shin-Soo" who? Another good read you have here. Unfortunately, the talented players usually don't get punished and rarely are they expelled from the team. Sports are way too much of a business now, especially football and basketball. If you can run fast and / or jump high, then you'll probably get at least three strikes before you're out. Unless you go to BYU. Now that's a school that drops the hammer on its students like no other! It's a shame people came down on them instead of applauding them.

    I don't always agree with how schools are run. I think they're more of a business now than a place to learn. But, I do fault parents for the responsibility of their kids' actions. I also think that "kids will be kids." I did my share of dirt as a child (nothing to this level), but I also suffered the "Wrath of Khan" when I got home. My parents never came to my defense when I did wrong and I'm better for it.