"Smart Homes" Reducing Alcohol Abuse

John Spangler, Director of the AISD Reduce Alcohol Abuse Grant
John Spangler, Director of the AISD Reduce Alcohol Abuse Grant

Reducing alcohol abuse among students is the goal of a new program called "Smart Home" through the Amarillo School District.

The most recent district surveys show the average age students take their first drink is 12. So, the district is asking parents with children as young as kindergarten to sign the Smart Home pledge.

It includes providing adult supervision while children are visiting. Keeping alcohol, firearms, and other potentially hazardous items locked up, and creating communication between parents.

Director of the AISD Reduce Alcohol Abuse Grant John Spangler says, "I think really the key word is supervision. We're just asking parents supervise your kids. Be aware of it because another statistic is where do students get their alcohol. The majority of them get it at home."

Parent Robin Garrison says he knows the reality of keeping the liquor cabinet unlocked all too well.

"I didn't even get my keys to hit the table when there was a knock at the door. And I opened it up and there were two boys white faces saying you need to come quick your daughter's in trouble."

It turned out Garrison's daughter had been dared to drink an entire glass of hard liquor.

"There was no adult supervision at the home and I found my daughter outside in a chair unconscious."

She was rushed to the hospital and survived but garrison says his family is lucky.

"I don't know what else to do except for ask other people, other parents to lock up their alcohol.

A choice he wishes the parents of the home his daughter visited had made.

For more information call the AISD Office of Grant Administration at 326-1328.