The stabilizing factor

Parents shouldn't guide their children toward dangerous choices

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Juvenile Judge Doug Flanagan went to Lakeside High School last week to warn the students against the dangers of prom and graduation season, including alcohol.

He apparently went to the wrong place.

He needed to address that message to the parents.

One Columbia County parent, Rachael Sheree Arrington, 42, was arrested, and two dozen students cited, when sheriff’s officers discovered gratuitous alcohol consumption at an after-prom party in her house.

“When deputies arrived at the house, they saw several teenagers drinking in the driveway,” according to a Chronicle reporter.

This, at 1 a.m. Saturday.

Pointedly, the judge notes that no one reported seeing taxi cabs nearby – meaning some teens surely were left to drink and drive.

“Sometimes you wonder if the children are not smarter than the parents,” Flanagan told us Monday. “I’m concerned when adults don’t act like adults. Parents are supposed to be the stabilizing factor.”

On Monday, reports surfaced of another minors-and-alcohol bust in the wee hours Sunday, after the Greenbrier High prom.

Allowing alcohol use at a party for minors, besides being illegal and patently boneheaded, is also a monumental slap in the face to the parent of every student there – parents who, in many cases, do the right things, who bring their kids up to be safe and smart. Then they’ve got some other parent throwing the door open to foolish, dangerous choices like this?

How dare anyone meddle with another parent’s child that way!

“You can’t be your child’s friend,” Flanagan says. “You’re not supposed to be. You’re the parent.”

And besides: In some cases, we’re talking about the kind of friend most parents tell their kids to steer clear of.

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Craig Spinks
Craig Spinks 04/17/12 - 02:31 am
We are confronted by the

We are confronted by the actuality of children's begetting children who are left to rear themselves.

Too many procreators, who by virtue of chronological age purport to be adults, are "too cool," too busy or too stupid to parent their offspring. Hopefully, such procreators will ask one of their ilk, Mrs. Arrington, how pleasant her ride to and stay at County Camp Road was.

What will he and his deputies have to do before "too cool," too busy and too stupid Columbia County procreators learn that Clay doesn't play?

Riverman1 04/17/12 - 05:01 am
Only Lakeside makes the

Only Lakeside makes the editorial column of the Augusta Chronicle. Heh. I don't agree with what she did, but it is probable they had designated drivers. Also, it's legal for parents to allow their children to have alcohol at home so we have to put this thing in perspective. If it's legal for kids to drink under parental supervision this is not the dastardly act it might appear to some. If all the kids had gone home and gotten drunk at home would it have been better just because it's legal? Just food for thought.

freeradical 04/17/12 - 05:58 am
The judge threw around the

The judge threw around the word " parentS " quite a bit.

Yet not one sylable mentioned of a father in this whole story.

The judge only scratched the surface of the real problem.

You can ask someone whose own life is as unstable as water to be a

" stabilizing " factor in the lives of others if you want , but it only

betrays your lack of insight into the breakdown of society in 2012 that

is comprehensive .

TParty 04/17/12 - 06:30 am
Just lower the drinking age,

Just lower the drinking age, and there will be less to worry about.

faithson 04/17/12 - 09:46 am
“When deputies arrived at the

“When deputies arrived at the house, they saw several teenagers drinking in the driveway,” This shows a complete lack of responsibility by the homeowner, a lapse that is going to cost the homeowner justly and dearly. gonna have a teen party, better plan for the worst, instead of hoping for the best.

toppergem 04/17/12 - 09:50 am
Children do what the see and

Children do what the see and not what they practice good behavior parents and it is likely you children will too. But, remember I said it is likely...there are so many other influences in children's lives that try to distort a person's behavior. Clearly the availability of alcohol at a party for underage youth was NOT the best decision that could have been made by the adults in charge. The arrest was warrented and the punishment for this bad behavior should be what ever the law dictates.

Cdr4500 04/17/12 - 01:40 pm
The interesting thing about

The interesting thing about all of this is that the children in European countries can literally walk into a bar and order a beer with their lunch, drink it, and get back on the train to school with no irresponsibility in sight. And they have lower alcohol abuse rates than we do. Not saying that I will be hosting any parties at my home, but it is interesting to take a look at the differences between cultures.

dstewartsr 04/17/12 - 05:36 pm
My children were exposed to

My children were exposed to guns and alcohol from the time they quit dumpster diving in their diapers for treats. They knew both to be adult concerns, and knew better than to touch either.

At age ten they were first given a glass of watered down wine on special holidays with their meal. They saw wine or beer several nights a week at our table for the family dinner every night. They never saw their parents drunk, or drinking and driving.

Very strange; neither do they.

socks99 04/17/12 - 07:43 pm
Many, many kids are booked

Many, many kids are booked into jail on charges of "underage possession of alcohol." U.S. society, ever respectful of our moral majority, or just the usual bunch of blue noses, have allowed the building of a police state. At the very least, possession and use of alcohol by youth between the ages of 18-20 ought to be decriminalized. I'd generally agree with those who feel that a part of parental responsibilities might be to model proper behavior with regard to potentially intoxicating substances; failing this might be a bigger lapse in judgement.

KSL 04/17/12 - 07:56 pm
My father was reared in a

My father was reared in a European style household. I too was allowed wine or sherry on occasion at home when I was in high school and beer when I was in college. It was the kids from homes that did not teach responsible drinking who went wild in college.

Now, all parties were always chaperone by multiple parents, not just one mother. No alcohol would have ever been permitted.

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