Archive for Wednesday, March 29, 2000

Alcohol, drug meeting geared to parents, students

March 29, 2000

Laura McCall hopes parents of Baldwin City youth are ready to talk about drug and alcohol use/abuse. She's also hoping the teens are ready to talk, too.

That's why McCall, a counselor in the Baldwin school district and parent of students in the district, has put together a meeting tonight. The meeting is for any parent of Baldwin Junior High School or Baldwin High School students concerned about the use of drugs and alcohol among Baldwin's youth, she said. The meeting is at 7 p.m. in the junior high library.

She also says to enter through the east side of the building and that the meeting will determine what direction or action parents want to take whether it be a support group, educational or community action. Any students who are concerned about this issue are also welcome to attend. A separate meeting room will be provided, she said.

But why has McCall decided to do this now?

"Basically, it is my job to listen to the community," said McCall. "I have had parents call with concerns. This is not a new problem. This has been a problem that occurs at every high school and every year we have incidents that involve students who drink, etc.

"We have curriculums that are in place to address these issues," she said. "There are community groups in place. However, as incidents occur, a new group of parents become concerned. Remember, this issue has been dealt with in a number of different ways in our society prohibition did not work, the drinking limit used to be 18, etc. Alcoholism is a large problem in the U.S. and alcohol is legal."

McCall's idea is to get interested persons together to start a dialogue on the issue.

"This meeting is initially an avenue for parents and students to begin discussing the issue," she said. "Kids want to have fun and alcohol becomes part of that mixture for some. Is that because it is taboo? I'm not sure, but it has not been that long ago that we were all teens and have stories to tell about things we or others did. I am not condoning it at all. It is illegal, but seeking thrills is a part of youth. Kids do stupid stuff.

"How do we as parents respond to this individually? How do we as a community respond with condemnation or support? He who casts the first stone ... I could go on," said McCall. "The purpose of this meeting is just to begin talking. We will see. There are rumors flying about everything and people sometimes cannot come forward or face judgment in a small community."

Questions or concerns may be directed to McCall 594-2448 or 594-2936.

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