Reader responds to letter on safe grad 0
I was stunned by the letter to the editor in the May 24 issue of the Lacombe Globe from Rochelle Bos regarding safe and dry grads.
It appears she's advocating getting rid of dry grad.
I feel that as the mother of past grads (who has been on the 2002 dry grad committee when it started) and the mother of a current grad with two more still to come, I can speak on this subject.
Dry grad was created for kids who not only don't want to drink, but don't want to be in a drinking environment. Some of these kids come from families who do not have alcohol as part of their lives. Some come from families who have too much alcohol in their lives and see the negative aspects of it. Some simply want to go and have fun without dealing with peer pressure to drink, or have their fun ruined by stupid drunken behaviour.
They ALL want to celebrate their graduation. Dry grad was also created so that parents could know that their graduate was in a safe environment.
I will address some of Ms Bos' statements:
"Some feel it is too bad that we can't just have one great big grad party for all the grads together and if you choose not to drink then don't drink."
This defeats the purpose of dry grad.
Having one great big drinking party is not the answer for those who do not want to participate in drinking or not want to be around drinking. Nor does it provide a safe environment for those who have alcohol problems or fear that they might succumb to peer pressure.
Of course we could have one great big non-drinking party for all the grads together. Oh wait, we do-it's called dry grad.
Some choose not to go. Many of the non-drinking grads have not participated in drinking parties throughout their high school years. Why advocate sending them to a drinking party now?
Ms. Bos said: "This year we did approach the dry grad committee about the possibility of the dry grad holding their function on a different night so that the grads could participate in both and we were dismissed."
Of course it was dismissed.
What are the non-drinking kids supposed to do on their grad night? Sit home twiddling their thumbs?
There are plenty of drinking parties leading up to the grad night drinking party. Is there any safety attached to those? Are there designated drivers, police officers and parents supervising the pre-grad parties?
Sometimes in life we have to make choices. In this case it's about going to a drinking party or a non-drinking party. Why take the choice away and have only one that many don't want to participate in.
Anyone is welcome to come to dry grad as long as they don't drink. It's that simple. Dry grad is not leaving anyone out.
Ms. Bos also said: "The reality is that some grads will celebrate with drinking on the night of their graduation..."
No argument there. That is a reality.
It's also a reality that there are grads who don't want to drink the night of their graduation. These grads don't wake up with hangovers the next day.
In regards to her statement: "How ironic that the dry grad committee chooses to do a bottle drive..."
My pop bottles, milk jugs and juice cartons that I donated are ironic?
It's a bad thing for the kids to raise money for their grad night? Dry grad isn't just run by parents. Students serve on the committee as well and they work hard to raise the money to do the stuff they want to do. That's to be commended. And I'm sure businesses who are giving to dry grad are intelligent enough to know what they are doing and who they are supporting.
There seems to be some resentment here that dry grad is so successful and students themselves are willing to put in the work needed to make it a success. This success of having a great time without drinking is a good thing.
In regards to Ms. Bos' comment: "Every year there is a sad reality that car loads of young adults are killed by drinking and driving all across the country but let us do everything we can as parents and as a community not to let this happen."
So why be so negative about dry grad? Dry grad is not in support of kids drinking and driving. Dry grad is doing something positive and offering an alternative, not just giving in.
"Oh they're going to drink anyway, might as well let them."
But dry grad is saying, "Hey you can have a fun time without alcohol." That's a lesson that kids can take with them the rest of their lives.
Ms. Bos' letter states, "We operate on a zero tolerance for drugs..."
Alcohol, however, is a drug.
It is a drug that takes away the ability to make clear-headed decisions, erases inhibitions, destroys families, kills even when a car isn't involved, and is a drug that teenagers often abuse.
Frankly, the mixture of teenagers, alcohol and a big bonfire doesn't sound very safe to me.
Perhaps safe grad isn't so much safe as safer than just letting them drink and drive. But dry grad is the safest and most fun choice of all.