Should alcohol be served at primary school events?
At many school fetes these days you will often find a well frequented bar area and stalls raffling bottles of wine with families being asked to contribute by making a donation of one bottle per family. School concerts serve alcohol, school trivia nights are fuelled by cheese and biscuits so that more parents will attend and have a good time.
The bar is seen as a way to generate revenue, get more parents to attend functions and once there to encourage them to stay longer and part with more cash.
But is combing adults drinking with children as young as 5 on school grounds sending mixed messages to our kids?
Personally I find this trend quite disturbing and from doing some background research it appears I am not the only one.
Drinking at discos, fetes, events and sports games on school grounds is concerning a number of parents, who are turning to the Australian Drug Foundation for help. Concerned parents who object to adults being allowed to drink at school events, particularly when young children are present are emailing the ADF to raise awareness of this issue.
The focus of children’s events on school grounds should be the children not alcohol. On one hand adults complain about underage drinking, yet we show children we need a drink when we attend children’s functions at school. If we are serious about reducing pressure on young people to drink, we have to set an example. We have to show our children we can enjoy ourselves without it. Drinking on school grounds undermines the alcohol education programs for young people in schools and sets the wrong tone.
Can you imagine a parent turning up to collect their child after school, glass of wine in hand? There would be a public outcry. But by allowing alcohol at school events we are condoning this exact behaviour that would not be tolerated during normal school hours.
Children are exposed to so much now from earlier and earlier ages, they see enough of adults drinking on a daily basis on TV, at home and even at the local playground where parents crank up the BBQ and crack open a beer while they push their child on the swings.
What sort of role models are we presenting to these impressionable minds?
Research shows it’s best for young people to avoid drinking until 18. To give our young people the best possible start in life, we need to take a look at our own drinking and start setting the example.
Surely our schools should be kept alcohol free environments and be the place that sets the example to our children that we do not need alcohol to socialise and enjoy ourselves.
What do you think? Should alcohol be served at Primary School events?
Should we be calling for a total ban on alcohol at primary school functions?
I for one have been left shaken and stirred.