Tell Us: Blame Parents for Teen Drinking?

The principal of a Lehigh Valley high school writes a letter to parents beseeching them to stop supplying alcohol and party space to teens before tragedy strikes.

Moms Talk is a Patch forum in which we ask members of Patch communities across the Lehigh Valley to weigh in on an issue that affects parents, children of all ages, and, quite frankly, people in general. You don’t have to be a Mom, or even a parent, to have an opinion on our Moms Talk topic of the week. And, we, in fact, encourage people of all genders, ages and life situations to share their thoughts on our weekly Moms Talk question in the comments section below so that our “discussion” can become as broad and, hopefully, as useful as possible.

In this week’s Moms Talk, we’re exploring Teen Alcohol Abuse:

Underage drinking and who’s to blame became a hot topic in the Lehigh Valley this week, when the principal of Freedom High School in Bethlehem wrote a letter to parents in his school’s PTO newsletter, imploring them to stop buying alcohol for Freedom students and to stop providing the kids party locations where they can drink booze. He said that he needed to reach out to parents on this issue before a horrible tragedy strikes.

Do you have an idea for a future Moms Talk topic? Email jennifer.marangos@patch.com.

Beth February 03, 2013 at 02:10 PM
I commend Mr. Laporta for putting this out there. Whether it is in a "controlled" setting or not, underage drinking is illegal. Parents should not support illegal activity. And, parents need to be parents, making responsible decisions for themselves and their children. It's sad that even needs to be said, but it's the truth.
Broughaha February 03, 2013 at 03:48 PM
I completely agree! As a freshman in college, I am shocked by how many people tell me that they drank in high school because their parents would supply alcohol. None of my friends' parents and certainly not my own would condone or facilitate an illegal activity. Moreover, there is no reason why high school students need to be drunk to entertain themselves! From my personal experiences, students who drank in high school are absolutely NOT more likely to exercise self-restraint in their drinking. If anything, they are less cautious than their inexperienced counterparts. Perhaps the situation is different in countries like Spain, France, and Italy where drinking is a part of the culture from an early age, and drunkenness, not alcohol itself, is frowned upon. However, high school and college culture in the U.S. promotes drinking with drunkenness as a goal. A high school student has the rest of his or her life to "learn limits, and "have the novelty of alcohol wear off." Parents should never set the precedent that it's ok to break the law.
Lisa Merk February 03, 2013 at 04:05 PM
I am stunned and saddened that this even needs to be said! What is wrong with people, who in their right mind would buy alcohol for a child? The reprecussions from this alone should make them not do this. How could you live with yourself if your child or any child for that matter was killed or killed someone else because you supplied alcohol for them?
Emmaus Mom February 03, 2013 at 07:44 PM
Wait! The statement under the title says...The principal of a Lehigh Valley high school writes a letter to parents beseeching them to supplying alcohol and party space to teens before tragedy strikes. Makes me think the word STOP is missing...I was really confused!!
Ann February 03, 2013 at 11:01 PM
Lisa, you either have small children or no children. Unfortunately, this is sad, but true and has been for some time now. The parents today are more concerned with being "the cool parents" and their kids being "the cool kids"...they are out to lunch. Not only do they supply the liquor, but also smoke and drink with their kids. It's crazy!
JASON GABRIEL February 04, 2013 at 07:18 AM
Please allow me to cynically say: The parents, arent trying to be cool. Theyre taking the easy route, and going with the flow. After all this is what America is about, isnt it? End of cynical part. The rate of alcolholisim in people aged 17 to 25 is horrific by any standard. More join the ranks each day, for it isnt an overnight thing. Of course, if a parent or legal age adult supplies alcohol to a minor, they are to blame for creating a problem. However, ladies and gentlemen, I wont hesitate in calling them: lazy, irresponsible people who are leading to the degredation of the morals and sense of right and wrong in our country. But to that, those people would tell me all the excuses that our society has chosen as acceptable.
WILFREDO G. SALCEDO, Sr. February 04, 2013 at 11:55 AM
My son grew up to be an upright citizen, no drugs or alcohol problem to worry about.
Kim February 04, 2013 at 01:57 PM
Willy, what is your point? Is it that you partied with your son and he turned out ok. I hope that's not the message you are sending!
Leslie February 04, 2013 at 02:17 PM
Ann, I feel it is irrelevant whether someone has small children, teens, or no children. Lisa may opine just like you. I too want to know what is wrong with people. Yeah, it is going on and has been since I was a teenager. Some of it IS parents trying to be "cool" and be a "friend" rather than being a parent...which is also the easy way out. I think it's a combination of the two. Anyway...that's my two cents LOL
BethTwp February 04, 2013 at 05:15 PM
Yes some parents are trying to be friends instead of parents. However there are many parents that for whatever reason are partying like they are college age. Posting photos of their drunkenness on Facebook for all to see. Booking drunk buses, drinking before they leave and then hitting 10 or more bars in one night. Grow up.
BethTwp February 04, 2013 at 05:16 PM
Oh and by the way, this group of parents have not hit the high school years just yet. Look out.
WILFREDO G. SALCEDO, Sr. February 05, 2013 at 12:17 PM
Create your own nightmare, Kim, but all is fine in the Salcedo household...Parking ticket, maybe.
H. R. Paul February 05, 2013 at 04:42 PM
Parents supplying alchohol to their own kids is still illegal. Parents supplying alchohol to friends of their kids to party in their own house is illegal. Both of these situations are chargable legal offences. I think you may have missed part of the bigger picture. If those kids party at home with an adults permission, when they leave the property, how about personal liability. Any child under 21 who drinks at someones house, then goes out and is involved in an auto accident, causing destruction, or worse death, the alchohol provider will be held accountable. Not only might your child be dead or kill others, you are going to have law suits that in the end will leave the supplier without a pot to pi$$ in...think about it, you Uber Cool Parents...
Kim February 05, 2013 at 05:02 PM
Willy, I guess your son is Premed or maybe in Law school. I am wondering how high you set the bar in the Salcedo household!
WILFREDO G. SALCEDO, Sr. February 06, 2013 at 12:34 PM
Sky is the limit, Kim...We aim high...The kind of high I like!
Jennifer Elston February 06, 2013 at 09:02 PM
It's not right that the letter had to be written, but let's face reality. This stuff happens. I applaud the principal for taking a stand, and I wonder what is wrong with parents today who think partying with their kids is acceptable parental behavior!
Kim February 06, 2013 at 09:48 PM
Willy, Wow! I feel sorry for you.
Jenn F February 07, 2013 at 05:44 PM
Bravo to Mr.LaPorta! Thank you for not sweeping this ugly truth under the rug, as so many others do. The argument that 'everybody does it' is galling to me as a parent. This is the law, people, and the minumum drinking age applies to everyone in all states. You cannot arbitrarily decide to serve alcohol to minors, yours--or worse--someone else's. The issues here extend to being responsible users of alcohol, too--kids will model what they see at home. Please parents, consider the consequences before you supply alcohol to kids. Don't wait to take action AFTER another person (underage or otherwise) dies in a crash caused by a driver who left your home after partying.
WILFREDO G. SALCEDO, Sr. February 07, 2013 at 07:54 PM
Well, I don't need your sympathy...Go look for someplace to sulk, 'cause I am fairly comfy with my life...Debt-free, no trouble with the law, love the arts, literature, sports, Beethoven, Big Bang Theory,..Life is good.
truth seeker February 07, 2013 at 08:20 PM
speaking of beer parties at the houses of parents, Looks lie the VP of the school board in NW Lehigh is neck deep in this issue: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/northwestern/mc-pa-underage-drinking-party-school-board-20130206,0,1011264.story
Janet Persing February 08, 2013 at 12:43 AM
Well written and true.
Janet Persing February 08, 2013 at 12:45 AM
Are you kidding?
Anonymous February 08, 2013 at 12:22 PM
THANKYOU Mr. Laporta ! You did a great thing. Parents need to stop thinking that as long as they are in the house they are ok. I remember in 1983 being at a parent supervised drinking party years ago for the drama club after our last high school performance. A girl drank so much that she got alcohol poisoning and they had to call the emergency squad. So much for parent supervised. You are stupid to give students alcohol while they are underage. And seriously...they need all the brain cells they were born with. REALLY.
college student February 08, 2013 at 04:55 PM
i graduated in 2009 from parkland. and have been to more than my fair share of parties. obviously, teen drinking is illegal and shouldn't occus. however, blaming the parents won't stop it. kids have friends of friends supplying them with booze. and as for party sites, you can't tell parents not to go away for a weekend or just a friday night. drinking doesn't just happen at parties, it's at school events like prom and football games too.
mark wood February 08, 2013 at 05:23 PM
if the gun caused the death? its the gun that did it? alcohol caused the problem, not the teens!!!! not the parents, that your liberal logic , some are born to lead, some are born to be jerks, pick one, prince of schools. you can't pick an object to blame and change in mid-stream and blame a person, knucklehead liberals, ignorance is as ignorance does. live in yours.
Janet Persing February 08, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Why are you interjecting "gun" in this post? Has nothing to do with the thread. Are you on the wrong website?


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »