Every year Leland and Gray Union Middle and High school puts on an event called “Rocktoberfest”, to kick off the start of fall. The event takes place here on school campus, where there are many fun activities, such as music, a fire, a bouncy house, dancing and more. Unfortunately with the fun, comes the threat of the presence or usage of alcohol. Because of this, police officers are hired to ensure the campus stay drug and alcohol free, but they can’t pick up on everything. As a member of West River Valley Thrives, I have put together and conducted interviews, where I ask students and teachers about their opinion of Rocktoberfest and how we can keep alcohol away from this sort of party setting.

I began my interviews with a junior student here at Leland and Gray, Riley Faulkner. We discussed the event itself, and how alcohol poses a threat for this type of event. I asked him why students might feel the need to abuse alcohol during a school event like this. He responded and said that alcohol might make someone more social or “The upperclassmen think they are too cool to take part in such childish activities, so instead they might use alcohol to have fun.” In addition to students, I spoke with a Leland and Gray teacher, Nika Oakes. I asked her what measures the school could take lessen the presence of alcohol among students at the event. “Keeping the students occupied with fun things to do and showing them, upperclassmen especially, that you don’t need alcohol to have fun.” 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive drinking is responsible for more than 4,300 deaths among underage youth each year, and cost the U.S. $24 billion in economic costs in 2010. Here at West River Valley Thrives, it is our mission to prevent the use of alcohol at events like these, and hope that students will comply, and enjoy these school events! For more information on the risks of under aged drinking visit this website:  http://www.ncadd.org/images/stories/PDF/UnderageDrinkingFactSheetNCADD-3-12.pdf

Written by: Jennifer Chamberlin




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