Teach Your Parents Well!
It’s a safe bet to say that we’ve all been in school circles and gossiped. Who was what with whom, relationship break-ups, who had a STD, whatever. The funny thing about school gossip is that it doesn’t seem to change all that much as we grow up. Now that I am the parent of a school age child, I have found that the school gossip mills are alive and well, even in adulthood. Much of this seems to go down in the parking lot at drop-off and pickup but it’s there nonetheless. I try my best to be an active participant in the day to day life of my son, which is difficult given the geographic separation and the nature of my work (for those of you who know, try scheduling an addict to do something). In any event, I was not able to attend a recent back to school night at my son’s school. Imagine my surprise when the school gossip machine revealed that there were parents that brought bottles of wine in to the classroom to enjoy at back to school night. Really? How odd!
I guess this is harmless, there were no children present and I assume everyone is of legal age and it was just wine sipping (according to the Head of the School). However, to me it sends a message, a contradictory message confusing to youth and adding chaos to any system. Dichotomy does not support prevention, so having this kind of thing in a system is really not helping the “just say no” message infused into school systems. So in other words, “no drinking kids unless you just need to try some Pinot Noir sitting on a tiny chair in a kindergarten class listening to the daily routine of your 5 year old”. The cynic is me takes it one step further: What if you don’t like alcohol but need to unwind after the stresses and pulls of parenthood? “Mind if I smoke some crack or some weed on campus”? Oh, wait, that’s different…..Is it?
Of course I couldn’t just let this slide, so I inquired as to the rules of our school and specifically how it responds to drugs and alcohol on campus. In the guidelines, written by the head of the school, for prom night it states “if we determine that someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, we will immediately contact you and will ask that you come and pick him or her up.” A decent policy for young prom celebrants. Should this be system wide? Should back to school night also be intoxicant free? I will go with a resounding “yes” on that one.