February 21, 2013
Albemarle County Police are investigating a situation that occurred at Walton Middle School on Wednesday morning involving two students drunk on the school bus.
"That's really shocking, I would hate to be the parent to even get that phonecall," said Ann Marie Anderson who has a 12-year-old of her own. "You think you know your child but I think peer pressure is
huge. You know your children wouldn't just set out to do something
like that but they want to make friends you want to do what they're
doing and not be the one left out."
The principal at Walton Middle School said the involved students were taken into her office to speak to police and classes ran smoothly through the day with no interruption.
As a school leader, she says students bring who they are and outside experiences into school all the time.
"I think we know that kids know a lot about a lot of things, some at
much earlier ages now maybe earlier than we did but we know that. Principal Alison Dwier-Seldon said. "Again, that's why we try to talk and prepare for ways we would handle a situation like that."
Seldon says it's important to let children and parents know that having a healthy relationship with adults is the way that trust is built so that when a situation happens, the communication is there.
The police will continue the investigation with the students and their parents privately but Seldon says the school will also take action.
Anderson says hopefully it is an issue that can be caught early. But maybe it's a hint to parents to lock the liquor cabinet.
"You don't want people thinking you're a bad parent but middle school
I imagine the peer pressure is beginning and they're going to try to
experiment so I can see where at this age it's going to start," Anderson said.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry warns that alcohol use can begin as early as 12. And out of the estimated 20 million alcoholics in America, more than half of them started drinking as teens.