The Short of It
After hearing about two parties hosted by parents over Halloween weekend where the kids were drinking alcohol, Walt Whitman High School Principal Alan Goodman took matters into his own hands, literally, by sending out the following email to the parents of the school's 1,980 students:
"Parents, as we get close to another weekend, please do not host an underage drinking party as apparently some of you did last weekend. This must stop. The law says you can be fined a minimum of $2,500/underage drinker if the drinker(s) is at your residence and you are present. While the fine is steep, the stronger risk is that a teenager from your party will be injured or die either from excessive drinking or while in a car with a driver under the influence. Parents, find other ways to bond with your child. Please.[sic]"
There have been several tragedies involving underage drinking in Maryland in the past year, and Goodwin doesn't want a student at his school to be next.
"It's horrible to lose a student; there's nothing worse, and whatever we can do to prevent that is part of our charge," he told the Washington Post.
Taking his plea one step further, Goodman also reached out to his entire student body via a cell phone app Friday night before a big football game: "Students, don't pre-game. All police will have breathalyzers. Just come and cheer on the team and have fun with friends. Be safe."
It's bad enough that our kids are putting themselves at risk, but to hear that parents are actually condoning this type of behavior is beyond disheartening. So, while some may think Goodwin is overstepping his bounds with his proactive measures, others are on board with the principal's decision to address the issue head-on.
"I appreciate that our principal goes well beyond grades and scores," parent Deb Lang told the Washington Post. "He cares about the character of his community."
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