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A big THANK YOU to Farragut High School principal Michael Reynolds for having invited Knox County Attorney Gen. Randy Nichols to speak at the FHS PTSO open house meeting on Thursday, Jan. 26 on the issue of underage alcohol use. (Article by farragutpress on the front page of the Feb. 2 newspaper.)

As a parent in attendance at that meeting and as a mental health professional in this community, I work closely with adolescents, families, and situations of alcohol and other substance abuse. I hear sad stories of how alcohol hurts individuals and families. I know what it is like to sit with a parent whose child is in treatment. I talk to teenagers who have had bad experiences, or have overdosed, or been hospitalized. Because of this, and because I am also a parent who loves her children and prays for their safety, I applaud Mr. Reynolds for speaking up about underage drinking. My guess is that this is an unpopular, controversial, and delicate topic, even though as adults we would agree that underage drinking is illegal and poses serious consequences and risks. However, as a counselor, and as a parent, and as a-once-teenager-myself, I know that the reality of what really happens is far from the legal position of ďnot until youíre 21.Ē

I believe it is critical that we as parents stay connected, educated, and informed regarding our children, and are not naive to common teen pressures, including an awareness that decisions are made, whether we are aware of them or not; decisions good or bad, wise or unwise, by our children, everyday, about many things. Specific to the alcohol concern, I could cite many sources and state research based statistics to include date rapes, fatal accidents, binge drinking behavior, and addiction. Knowing what we know as adults, it seems even more crucial for our children to know where we stand.

An alcoholic beverage, for an adult, is one of many beverages that an adult can choose or not choose to drink. We talk about responsible drinking. We as parents are role models. Our children are precious to each of us, to all of us. Letís help them make good choices. Letís listen to them and hear what their concerns are. Letís thank Mr. Reynolds for caring so much about our children that he is willing, as a school administrator, to take a position.


Nancy Truett



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