ucated about underage drinking and substance abuse, Blue Valley administrators required all participants in fall activities to attend the Wrong of Passage presentation Aug. 31.
Attendance was mandatory for all activities under the guidelines of Kansas State High School Activities Association.
“It had become apparent through a survey students here at BV took, that alcohol use and substance abuse is a big deal,” Principal Scott Bacon said. “We cannot turn our backs to it. Lectures do no good for the students, so we decided to use this program.”
At the presentation a panel of prevention center personnel, law enforcement and patrons gave information on teen drinking and substance abuse.
“We recognize it isn’t easy for students,” Athletic Director Bob Whitehead said. “Opportunities do present themselves. We want to do everything possible to have the best school we can. ”
At the presentation, the panel strongly encouraged parents and students to discuss the topic of teen drinking and drug use.
“It’s plain and simple, parents have the final call,” Bacon said. “They need to educate and mandate their children that nothing good comes from drinking.”
According to the panel, 50 percent of students who talk about drinking with their parents or a guardian are less likely to illegally drink.
“Parents need to sit down with their child and let them know that drinking at such a young age or putting these harmful substances into their bodies have life-threatening consequences,” sophomore cross country runner Bailey Swimmer said. “Students need to be monitored more with who they hang out with and exactly what they are doing.”
The hope of the school and the panel was to make a difference in how students view drinking and drugs.
“Unfortunately, I feel that there are many kids in our school who just sat through it thinking ‘this is a waste of my time’ and ‘no one even cares about this’,” said senior Taylor Armstrong, a member of the Drug and Alcohol Prevention Task Force. “This may not have had the impact that our school wished it would have had.”
The Drug and Alcohol Prevention Task Force encourages students to say no to drugs.
This year the club is also going to reach out to younger students so they can begin thinking about their own future, and what it will be like without alcohol.
They present messages to students that allow them to see the consequences of drinking and drugs.
“Our school needs to keep pushing the problem of underage drinking and drug usage,” Armstrong said. “We all know it is going on at our school and we all know people who do it, the question is what are we going to do about it?”
Blue Valley has recognized that there is a problem with drinking and substance abuse within the community.
“Every student is different as to why they might drink,” Bacon said. “Some feel peer pressure, some feel it is an escape route from reality, some from just plain curiosity. I hope their goals and dreams are so beyond significant that they don’t need and don’t want it.” by Jordan Huesers.