Popular Posts

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Trayvon Martin's Mom - All Moms Cry With You

By now, everyone has heard the story of Trayvon Martin, an African American teenager who went out to get his younger brother some Skittles at half time of a game, and was shot dead in his father’s gated community. The man who did this to him is still free, and some ridiculous Florida law is being invoked that if the assailant felt threatened, he was allowed to shoot him.

Rather than address the simple fact that Trayvon Martin was pursued by a man in a car with a loaded weapon who called the police once, was told not to follow him, and continued to do so, the media is focused on turning this young man into someone who somehow deserved it. The whole thing makes me sick.

Trayvon's Mom – I too am a mom of a boy about your son’s age and I have seen how tough these boys act when they feel threatened with words or violence of any kind. High school kids are powder kegs, and I’m sure that Trayvon may have said things to this man that he shouldn’t have. But so what?

Of course I believe, as I know you do, that race was an issue too.  But I’m not writing about race, this is about mothers and the fear that goes through us every time our teenage sons leave the house. Teenage boys, no matter how good they are and I’d like to believe that the majority of them are, push the envelope. They’re growing, they’re changing, they’re learning. 

They wear hoodies – and take pride in covering their heads. They dress a little gangsta sometimes. They desperately want to be cool. And they can be horribly obnoxious. But they are not dangerous, they’re just kids.

We don’t know how others will perceive our sons – but what we do know is that there are many horribly angry people out there – stirred up by an economic environment that scares everyone. We fear terribly for our sons. We wait for the phone call that you got, Trayvon's mom, every time our boys are not home. And we pray that it won't happen to our son. 

So Trayvon Martin’s mom, as one mom to another, I want you to know that you have the support of every mother I know, no matter what race or ethnic backgrounds. We want justice for you and your son. And until you get it, we all cry with you. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Drug and Alcohol Treatment Class

I stopped posting for awhile but I 'm going to continue with this blog because I think it's important.

Since January 2nd, the last time I posted, much has happened. My son took a drug and alcohol treatment class required by the county in order to get his record expunged because a bunch of kids got caught at a party drinking. I attended the second class with him because a parent was required. His other parent never asked what happened after he went to pick him up at the party at 2:30 AM. I suppose he thought he had done his part.

So what was it like? One of the local hospitals that works with teens on drug and alcohol issues holds the class at a Macy's in a local mall. There were probably 40-50 kids and their parents (some grandparents) who came. They were required to bring a parent to the second and final class.

I thought the curriculum was quite good. It was all about the science of alcohol and how it affects teenagers' bodies - a subject that I wrote a book on over a year ago. The kids tried to look cool and bored, the parents were a combination of mad at their kids (ditto) and trying to pay attention as the lecturer droned on and on. He did try to engage the kids and did at some points with questions like "How many of you have. . . and then something they would never admit too in front of their parents," but mostly it was him talking.

What I found the most disturbing was the kids. Two local high schools had kids who were caught drinking at parties and had more alcohol in their blood than they were supposed to - as in some. My kid was a .07 which is not legally drunk for an adult but for a teenager it's .02. And it's basically if there's any alcohol in their system at all, they're liable. Plus they can get busted simply for being at the party where alcohol is used. That's why he's not going to any more parties.

Anyway, a number of  the high school kids knew each other and the first week when I dropped my son off there were exchanged glances, a few hey man how you doings. When the parents were there, not a word, just an uncomfortable glance.

The worst part? A 13 year-old girl from our neighborhood who used to hang out with my other child, was busted for marijuana and so was another kid from our local middle school. They're in 8th grade. The expression on her mother's face - indescribable.

Talk to your kids - monitor them. Trust is a beautiful thing but this is not the age for it.