by jgodfrey54 | Friday, August 23, 2013
My first ever blog! This week, The Birmingham News reported on a school taking K-12 students to tour a local brewery. I submitted the following letter to the editor in response:
The article in The Birmingham News, dated Wednesday, August 21, 2013, telling of a group of children from Red Mountain Community School visiting the Avondale Brewery was very disturbing. First, the article stated that the children visited several local businesses, but The News chose to focus attention on their visit to the brewery, providing free advertising to this particular business. Second, that the school officials thought this was a proper place to take school-aged children is somewhat disconcerting. Under-aged drinking is a very serious problem in our nation, but these children were given a tour of a brewery and told of the “science behind brewing,” making this mind-altering and addictive drug appealing to these young, impressionable students. Third, it seems that even if the school officials were not sensitive to the inappropriateness of this tour, the brew master would have suggested that his establishment might not be a proper place for kindergarten through twelfth grade students to be touring.
It is interesting that national news outlets reported this same week that actress, Lindsay Lohan, sharing about her addiction problems on Oprah Wynfrey’s show, acknowledged that alcohol was her biggest problem and that it was a gateway to other drugs, such as cocaine. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has stated that alcohol use in America costs Americans over $223 billion annually, and that there are about 79,000 alcohol-related deaths each year in this nation. In addition, alcohol is often a root cause for family breakups. My own daughter is raising three children as a single mother because of alcohol use by her ex-husband.
I hope that local schools will communicate the negative aspects of alcohol and not just glamorize it with field trips to local breweries. A quick internet search will reveal a variety of resources for teaching the “science behind alcohol and other drug addictions.”