Generation after generation of teenagers have been lectured by everyone from police and school officials to family and friends about the consequences associated with drinking alcohol.
Sometimes the words sink in. Often they don't.
I recently blogged about 15 Naperville North High School in Illinois students who were suspended after it was determined they had been drinking until as late as 5 a.m. the morning of the first day of classes. Some were still noticeably intoxicated in class!
In an attempt to combat the problem, most schools have codes of conduct that deal with drinking and warn that those who do drink could be suspended or even expelled.
And the rules are stricter for students in sports or other extracurricular activities at some schools. Just being in the presence of other minors drinking — including at parties where liquor is present — could mean being tossed off a team or out of a club.
Alcohol Awareness Classes
But officials also are looking to help students confront what could be a larger problem rather than just punish them. Many schools are reducing suspension times for students who are willing to attend alcohol awareness classes.
But show that alcohol can permanently damage the adolescent brain. One disturbing and growing trend is parents who allow their kids to drink at home.
We have a generation of parents who want to be their kid's best friend. There is a myth that allowing kids to drink at home will teach them to drink responsibly.
Several behavioral treatment facilities in the Illinois area report the number of high school-age students being admitted for treatment or evaluation spikes after the first few weeks of classes. In many cases, parents notice problems during the summer with their children but don't want to cause a disruption in the student's life right before school. These teen definitely need Illinois Minor in Possession Classes!
And we all could use a little more alcohol awareness!