Will You Pledge To Never Serve Alcohol to Minors In Your Home?
Parents of school-aged children may face this question in an upcoming campaign by local advocates against substance abuse.
The Bernards Township Municipal Alliance Against Substance Abuse says it will collaborate with a newly-formed parents group called Parents4SubstanceFreeKids on a community-wide campaign that could include an online pledge form, a browsable database of substance-free "safe homes," and signage.
"We think the parents' 'piece' is what's been missing," said Carol Spina of Parents4SubstanceFreeKids, to a dozen members of the Municipal Alliance / Youth Services Commission at their monthly meeting at the municipal building on Tuesday.
Spina, along with Georgiana Paril, also wants to see random student drug testing implemented at Ridge High School. They will discuss their concerns and ideas at their first meeting at St. James School on Friday from 4-6 p.m.
Bernards Township Health Officer Lucy Forgione recalls that in the early 1980s, there was a "Take A Stand for Kids" initiative in which parents signed pledges and even put stickers on their front door affirming that their household opposed teenage drinking. A hand-typed booklet was circulated to families that allowed parents to know which households took the pledge. But the initiative faded over time.
Discussion of substance abuse among youth is a topic around town, especially since the allegation of a high school student driving drunk to school with five other friends in the car.
An American Drug and Alcohol survey that asks about drug and alcohol consumption among youth was recently distributed to students, with results expected in the early summer.
A community forum called on drug trends, called " The Cycle of Pills to Heroin: Drug Trends in Our Community" is expected to draw hundreds of parents and children 8th grade and older to Ridge High School, for a film and frank panel discussion on March 13 at 7 p.m.
"I think its wonderful that parents are exploring this option that might help the problem we have in this community," said Forgione.