It’s been a while since I had a rational and calmly thought out crack at some do-gooding wowser group who are up-in-arms and whining like a Falcon diff about the evils of drink or some other perfectly legal activity because it is abused by a small dickheaded minority.
So here goes.
The latest ‘Committee for trying Hard to Justify their Government Funding’ is the Australian National Council on Drugs (and think about how ironic THAT is – I’m sure they’re not really ON drugs) has written to every school principal in the country asking them to “reconsider the sale, use and promotion of alcohol products when raising money”.
Why, I hear you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. Because using alcohol to raise funds is using our kids as “couriers” for advertising materials and forms and payments for alcohol. Couriers? Now, I get accused from time to time of being a bit ‘rednecked’ when I use inflammatory language, but ‘COURIERS’?!? We ask them to bring home newsletters, raffle tickets and ‘Creature/Teacher’ interview forms, not stuff boogie board bags with gunga or pack their cracks with dingers full of heroin.
I’ll tell you something for nothing – it’s all you can do to get the kids to deliver the school mail, let alone read the stuff! But even if they did, kids are not brain-dead sponges who are going to take up binge-drinking because Mum and Dad have been invited to the school Trivia Night and are allowed to bring a drink. Is my preppy a wound spring just waiting for the signal to skoll a six-pack of Bourbon & Cola before going to the railway station to throw haymakers at bogans because the School Council has arranged a wine tasting?
Am I missing something here?
Where does it end? If we are bad parents for allowing alcohol to influence the coffers of the school treasury what else can we do? Can we sell chocolates to raise money? Nup. Fat kids. How about raffle tickets? Nup. Short step from ‘3 tickets for $5’ to ‘Honey I Blew The Grocery Money On A Sure Thing at The TAB’. What about hot cross buns? Don’t upset the Muslims. Or the fat kids.
My kids are also asked to bring home all sorts of other non-fundraising information as well. Should I be protecting them for the evils that lurk within? Last week we got a flyer for Grasshopper Soccer and Auskick. I best be alert to the probability that my little ones will be overtaken by the sudden urge to light flares and chant racist epithets or post nudie photos of AFL footballers on Farcebook.
Sometimes they bring home Government sponsored propaganda about tolerance and about alternative lifestyles. Should I be a little bit worried that my girls will suddenly start wearing dungarees and listening to Melissa Etheridge CDs?!
There are two issues I have with this fruitless and no doubt very expensive exercise by the ANCD; First, it wishes to impose on us an environment in which it is deemed evil to associate any mention of alcohol within the boundaries of school fundraising and thus demonise a legal and socially acceptable element of modern human society.
Second, it ignores a very important factor. That school is not a service that operates in isolation from that very same society. School, for most parents, is seen as a partnership. It serves to educate and enable our most precious resources within a safe and secure environment in association with the children’s family. Both teacher and parent have an essential role to play in the child’s education. We as parents can communicate with our kids and teach them about all sorts of things. We dissect issues that arise from classroom discussions or TV news reports or pick over issues we feel are important. We can all make a difference.
And on that note, I’ll finish this ‘rant’. I felt I had to say something. Let’s attack the problem from the angle of the minority who can’t engage in a meaningful dialogue with their kids and who don’t care if they start drinking at ten years old. But leave the rest of us to live our lives productively and quietly and as a community.
That’s just my opinion and I guess what one person thinks won’t change a thing. But how’s this? The two year investigation that the Australian National Council on Drugs conducted in conjunction with the Australian Secondary Principals Association in order to produce a letter to every school in the country as well as a guideline booklet titled ‘School Fundraising and Alcohol’ ... was prompted by a single letter from one parent.
And, in the words of that great 20th century philosopher, Forrest Gump; “That’s all I got to say about that.”