November 22, 2014

Society’s role in minors drinking should not be ignored

By James Kuch
News Editor | news@arenacindependent.com
Posted 4/13/11

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As it was reported in this week’s issue of the Arenac County Independent, an undercover sting operation by the Arenac County Sheriff’s Department led to 11 bars and stores getting cited for selling alcohol to a minor.

After nearly a week of thinking about this issue and reading comments on our website, www.arenacindependent.com, I have come up with one question on this issue, what role does society play in the recent string of incidents we have seen involving youth and alcohol in Arenac County?

I feel like society’s role is the biggest problem we as a country have to deal with when it comes to this issue.

Of the comments on the website, no one mentioned this as an issue. To be fair, there is plenty of blame to go around, from the owners to the clerks who sold the alcohol.

But we can’t ignore the role that our society has when it comes to alcohol.

Think about your time in high school. Think about the things you did and about when you got together with your friends. What did you do?

Depending on your age, I bet we are going to come up with different answers, but I guarantee that people 21-35 are going to have similar answers, just like people who are 36-50 and those ages 51-75.

Times are changing, and alcohol use is seen differently from a child’s point of view now than it was during my parents’ and grandparents’ generations.

When I went to college, I was astounded at how important going out drinking was to so many college students. Sure, in high school I would hear about these things, but college was a whole different animal. It was time to party every Thursday night through Sunday.

Sitting in class, I would overhear people talking about what they did the night before; alcohol was everywhere.

How does anyone stand a chance when they are surrounded by something?

The fact is, kids are going to drink if they really want to drink. But you have to be able to trust your kids.

Everyone makes mistakes. From kids who want to drink to the adults who help them do it. Mistakes happen.

People are irresponsible, and when alcohol is available and legal kids are going to get their hands on it. Adults need to take responsibility and help inform our youth and trust that they will be the ones to make the right decision when the time comes.

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