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Students believe in not using alcohol

Bill Spitzer

P & I Coordinator Parenting Resource Center

If you are a parent you are probably saying to yourself, the school year is almost over.

Of course, if you are a teacher you may be asking is it over yet?  On the other hand, our seniors may be enjoying that one last hurrah before they venture into a new world.  Before that adventure begins, most seniors will celebrate with a graduation party over the next several weeks.

Did you know that seven out of 10 high school students in Austin believe parents and guardians should clearly communicate with their children about the importance of not using alcohol?  This is the time of year when graduation parties are held nearly every weekend until mid-June and that decision about having alcohol at the gathering is pondered by many parents.  Nearly 40 percent of high school students who reported drinking, stated that they obtained the alcohol from a parent or a friend’s parent either with or without their permission. 

Just having alcohol present at these celebrations increases the exposure of alcohol to our young people.

Our young people still look to us for guidance, and graduation parties are a great place to take a stand.  It is clear that most of our students want us as parents to send that clear message, so let’s send it.  That same clear positive message we will send them this week as they take that last senior walk in front of their fellow students.  After all, the last thing we would want is a tragedy to start out that next adventure for our seniors. 

So, fire up the BBQ, get those last-minute repairs done and be prepared to eat a lot of ham (SPAM) sandwiches for the next couple of weeks.  We have a great bunch of seniors ready to make a difference in our community.  Let’s start them out on the right foot by helping them make the right choice when it comes to underage drinking.  Prevention has always started at home.

Data Source: Positive Community Norms (PCN) survey administered to Austin students grades 7-12 in early March 2017.

Bill Spitzer is the Planning and Implementation (P & I) Coordinator working closely with APAC (Austin Positive Action Coalition).  APAC and Bill will be working with our schools and community as part of a 5-year grant focusing on Positive Community Norms.  Feel free to contact him at the Austin High School 507.460.1800 ext. 0361 or via e-mail bill.spitzer@austin.k12.mn.us.  This grant is made possible by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, ADAD and hosted locally by the PRC.  To learn more about the Parenting Resource, visit their website at www.familiesandcommunities.org