Graduation Joy Can Be Undone by ExcessesIf you recall that...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

June 12, 1994

Graduation Joy Can Be Undone by Excesses

If you recall that your high school graduation was one of your special milestones, these next weeks may be the same for your child. What may be different is the choice of celebration. The amount of risk involved has changed considerably since we graduated.

Students in Carroll County schools have been taught the best choice regarding drinking and premarital sex is abstinence. This message is conveyed throughout required programs in health, family life and human development, and AIDS education.

Likewise, students have been subject to strong disciplinary policies and administrative procedures regarding the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs. We know from past experiences, however, that without thought of consequences, alcohol and other drugs are used as a major part of the celebration that takes place during "Senior Week" at Ocean City or at other graduation celebrations at home.

The use of alcohol lowers inhibitions, impairs judgment and harms coordination skills which heighten the chance of accidents, high-risk sexual behaviors and legal problems.

As the parent of a graduating senior this year, please be aware that your child may be exposed to potentially risky situations. Talk to your child about how he or she might appropriately handle these occasions without compromising themselves or others. . . .

If your son or daughter will be celebrating in Ocean City, check out the place where he/she will be staying by contacting the owner or landlord. Develop a plan with your child to stay in touch with you during the week, and remind him/her of their responsibility regarding the care of the rental property.

Be aware of the resources that are available to your child while in Ocean City. The "Play It Safe" booklet that will be distributed in the senior packets contains important emergency information as well as coupons and ideas for many fun things to do. The Parent Network is a program of community volunteers in Ocean City who are interested in the safety of youth while visiting the resort. You may call this network 24 hours a day at (410) 723-3700 if you have any concerns about your child or need other information.

Congratulations. You, too, have achieved a milestone with this graduation. We hope this information helps you and your graduate make it a safe one for all of us.

Joanne M. Hayes

Westminster

The writer is a substance abuse prevention counselor with the Carroll County public schools.

Two World Views?

Violence reigns. It has become the concern of everyone from the president of the United States to the laborer in smalltown America. What has happened to the Golden Rule and treasured values like honesty and integrity that governed society for generations?

Do we need to embrace values? Absolutely!

Are we teaching a system of values in our schools? Yes!

What then is the problem?

In 1776, along with the birth of our nation, a new world-life view was born, and its' revolutionary effects are still being felt long after the tremors of war have ceased. In his "Critique of Pure Reason," noted German philosopher Immanuel Kant proposed a radically new way of viewing God and our world. He asserted there were two spheres of existence: our everyday world and the realm of the supernatural.

In itself, this was not a radical idea, but Kant went one crucial step further. He asserted that an impenetrable barrier exists between our knowable world and the supernatural.

God's existence can neither be proven nor disproven, and absolute truth cannot be determined definitively. Hence, since absolute truth cannot be proven, truth must be relative -- that is, it must change according to the situation one faces.

Today, all traces of God and the supernatural are gone from our classrooms, and instead we preach the doctrine of relativism -- ,, "if it feels good, do it, as long as it doesn't hurt someone else," "if it's right for you, do it" and "if you can get it, it's yours." Sadly, young people today wander aimlessly in a moral wasteland.

Even Kant saw the potential for serious problems if society were to espouse his philosophy. For the sake of civil order, he believed that we must assume the existence of God even though we can't know him. . . . In an attempt to challenge our thinking about these matters, the Christian Educators Association is sponsoring a debate (probably this fall), titled "World Views in Conflict" -- the secularist world and life view as opposed to the Biblical world and life view. We encourage parents, educators and concerned citizens to attend. Watch for more information.

Bob Foster

Gettysburg

The writer is a Carroll County educator and a member of the Christian Educators Association.

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