Things parents should do

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Last Thursday at Family Connection in Alabaster, a panel of county leaders got together to discuss a real problem facing teenagers in Shelby County.

Sheriff Chris Curry, Assistant District Attorney Bill Bostick, Shelby County Schools Superintendent Randy Fuller and officials with the juvenile court system and mental health all talk about teenage drinking.

All agreed that for various reasons, including things that are normally seen as advantages like the county&8217;s affluence, make teenage drinking a bigger problem here than in surrounding counties.

So far this year, there has been 57 arrests in Shelby County for minors in possession, according to the Sheriff&8217;s Office. Fuller recapped the last student PRIDE survey that showed 69 percent of high schoolers said beer and other forms of alcohol was readily available to them.

But they didn&8217;t just talk about stats. Sheriff Curry gave the following tips for parents to keep teens safe.

-Lock up prescribition drugs and alcohol. Keep both away from your children and their friends.

-Stay up and meet children at their curfew. Curry said his mother used to wait for him on the front porch.

uRemember there&8217;s no such thing as illegal search and seizure in your own home or car. Parents don&8217;t have to be their child&8217;s best friend. Lack of privacy is a small price to pay to keep children safe.

-Follow up on location. If you think your child is going somewhere they shouldn&8217;t, follow them.

uLook out for older siblings. Don&8217;t assume that an older brother of sister won&8217;t help their younger siblings get booze.

Parent&8217;s would be wise to follow the sheriff&8217;s advice and keep children out of jail or somewhere worse