Key to parties and teens? Raise responsible, busy kids, experts say

The advice from a  panel of law enforcement officers, school officials, a circuit court judge and some teens about how to keep youngsters out of trouble with drugs and alcohol at parties came down to one idea.

Raise kids that are responsible and busy with constructive activities.

The program, titled “Parents, Parties and the Law: Our Children, Our Responsibility” was held at Central High School Wednesday evening just a few days before that school’s prom.

Leading off the program was Sheriff David Beth who shared some insightful and personal stories about teens and underage drinking:

Central Assistant Principal Aaron Malczewski also related some tips for parents from his experience:

Members of the school peer helpers group also had some advice.

Laura Bogdan, of  Trevor, said she uses her father as the scapegoat to get out of situations that make her uncomfortable concerning drugs or alcohol. And for her, it has the added benefit of being correct, since her father has  no tolerance for drug and alcohol use, she said.

Cathy Harvey, of Brighton, echoed the often stated comment by the students present that leading an active student life is sound prevention from drug and alcohol entanglements.

“It’s not like it’s inevitable that your kids do drugs,” Harvey told the audience.

Chief Judge of the Kenosha, Racine and Walworth counties circuit courts Mary K. Wagner, a Central High school graduate, said parents should actively try to get children involved in positive pursuits.

“As a parent you can play a very important role,” Wagner said. “Expose them to the track meet, the football game. Have them see the cheerleaders, the marching band, the symphonic band…”

On a practical level that related directly to the stated theme of the night, Deputy Ken Krenz, Central’s resource officer, had an important piece of  advice for parents who find themselves hosting their children’s friends.

“I’d be very leery about letting kids into your house that you don’t know,” Krenz said.


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