There are a few stories in the news this week about underage drinking.
A mom in Iowa has sold her sons car after finding alcohol under the seat. She has deemed herself “The meanest Mom on the Planet“, and is getting some great feedback from around the country.
Another college student has died in Minnesota as a result of drinking excessively. After a night of drinking games he was found dead in his room, with acute alcohol syndrome. This is the fourth college student with an alcohol related death since last fall. While colleges are working hard to include students in discussion on the perils of alcohol abuse, more students are drinking excessively.
And one story that is making headlines is local as well. Eden Prairie High School has taken action against students involved in athletics and other activities. These students were shown in pictures taking part in parties where they were either drinking or seen holding a drink. The school received these pictures anonymously, as they were taken off of Facebook.com. Students were stripped of their captains letters and suspended from sports. 43 students were questioned, and actions was taken with about 14 of them. It is a brave move by the administration.
With this move came a major response. Some for the school, and some against. Most parents are standing by the school, as they should. Students are angry, calling it a invasion of privacy, even though these pictures were on the Internet, on Facebook.com. This is a free social website, where the pictures were not locked for privacy.
In Minnesota, in order to participate in athletics you must sign the code of conduct for the Minnesota State High School League. There are no exceptions.
It also states: 20. *MOOD-ALTERING CHEMICALS
A. Bylaw Twelve (12) months of the year, a student shall not at anytime, regardless of the quantity:
(1) use or consume, have in possession a beverage containing alcohol;
(2) use or consume, have in possession tobacco; or,
(3) use or consume, have in possession, buy, sell, or give away any other controlled substance or drug paraphernalia.
1. The bylaw applies continuously from the first signing of the student Eligibility Brochure.
2. It is not a violation for a student to be in possession of a controlled substance specifically prescribed for the student’s own use by her/his doctor
The student/parent authorizes the release of documents and other pertinent information by the school in order to determine student eligibility.
If found, there will be a automatic two game suspension for each violation.
In this case, students were suspended two games for each picture they were in where they were in possession of the substance.
There are currently 1172 comments on this story on the startribune.com site. I added my opinion on Thursday when there were only 174 comments…you can see that has many people on many sides. My comment is below:
“As a recent high school athlete, I took the code of conduct very seriously. We lost 4 seniors my sophomore year, because pictures went around of them drinking and other things at a party. The coach found out, the principal called them in and they were suspended for the remainder of the year. One girl lost her scholarship, but it forced her to work harder to pay her own way freshman year. She was awarded a scholarship the next year, for academics. Her parents stood behind the school and their decision. They would not ask the school to change their minds, because it was laid out clearly in the code of conduct.If the children took their athletics seriously, they would have realized that the Minnesota State High School League means business, and does not mess around with underage drinking. They state in the code of conduct that off campus drinking is forbidden, no ifs ands or buts. Forbidden! If a child does not want to sign the contract, they don’t play sports for any school.In a time when more and more college students are dying from drinking, why are we standing by blasting Eden Prairie for their great choice? We should support them in their quest to make their athletic program the best if can be, with students that want to obey the rules they signed up for, voluntarily. I only hope that my children’s school is as on top of this as Eden Prairie. Good for them!!”
What are your feelings? Do you think the school crossed a line? Should the students have made better choices, not putting these pictures online?