Athletic directors should use drug and alcohol youth speakers with high school assembly to keep student athletes away from drugs.
Student athletes embarking on a new fall season can certainly benefit from a drug and alcohol youth speaker and abuse prevention high school assembly. In April 2011, photos that first appeared on Facebook showing eleven student athletes using alcohol and tobacco were forwarded to Melrose High School administrators. High school speakers from the Melrose, MA, school indicated that up to 60 percent of the fall season would be with these athletes on suspension, along with possible legal ramifications. myFOXBOSTON.com broke the story, and it can be viewed at this link:
Now, it’s been quite a few years since I was packed into a high school assembly, but high school drugs and alcohol prevention is an even bigger concern than back in my day. Athletic directors have a tough enough job with what happens on campus, much less what student athletes are up to after the game is over. But if was anything like back in my day, high school speakers that would reach the kids with their anti-drug messages are few and far between. That’s a tragedy, as if anyone would benefit from the services of a drug and alcohol youth speaker, it’s the rosters of all the sports teams.
Athletes are held to a higher standard. They are representative of the school whether they are on the field or off. On the flip side, they are often afforded a type of hero status that combined with peer pressure and immaturity can push them into making serious mistakes.
What is most shocking when a story like this breaks is the adults are often worse than the kids when it comes to encouraging bad behavior. Here’s a sample of comments that the FOX Boston affiliate received in response: “Being a parent of two teenaged daughters, I have to say the schools are out of control. It’s my job as a parent to punish my kids, not the schools. I hope these kids file suit against the school district including the person who sent them the photos”
“When did we become a Nazi state? What happened is not the schools business. The lowlife that snitched them out should be busted for invading their privacy. We have become nothing but rats and snitches.”
I really like the second one. I mean, was this written by an adult? First off, if you’re under 21, it is illegal in the United States to consume alcohol. Under 18, illegal to have tobacco. In other words: They were breaking the law.
Secondly, was it one of their Facebook pages that they posted the pics on? They have no reason to squawk about privacy. Even if it wasn’t their own, they had to know that pictures were being taken, and there is no telling where they might end up. Frankly, with comments like those, it’s no wonder this makes the second time this school has had athletes getting caught with booze in hand.
But being proactive, and holding a high school assembly where a drug and alcohol youth speaker can reach them, warn them of getting kicked off the team as well as possibly dealing with police and the courts can prevent such incidents in the first place. Or at least minimize them. There is no shortage of high school speakers that can fulfill this role.
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