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Upper School
May 4, 2017
Dear families,
Since it is spring, the week before prom, and about to be summer when students have more free time on
their hands, I want to reiterate a few things about alcohol, our discipline policies, and general health.
1) According to Nemours’ website, http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/alcohol.html#, “When large amounts
of alcohol are consumed in a short period of time, alcohol poisoning can result. Alcohol poisoning
is exactly what it sounds like — the body has become poisoned by large amounts of alcohol. Violent
vomiting is usually the first symptom of alcohol poisoning. Extreme sleepiness, unconsciousness,
difficulty breathing, dangerously low blood sugar, seizures, and even death may result.”
2) From our handbook: “If a student uses, possesses, or is under the influence of controlled
substances, unauthorized prescription drugs, abuse of prescription drugs, illegal drugs, or alcohol,
or possesses drug/alcohol paraphernalia during the school day; on school property; in locations
within sight of school property; on, to or from Meeting House grounds; during on- or off-campus
school-sponsored activities or programs, including athletic events and foreign exchange programs;
or while representing the school in any capacity, the student will be suspended or expelled. The
school also reserves the right to require that the student participate in counseling and/or
drug/alcohol rehabilitation as a condition of that student’s return to the school community. A student
who commits a second drug or alcohol-related offense will typically be expelled. (See page 45 for
the school’s policy regarding substance abuse.)”
“Families are reminded that making available any form of alcoholic beverage to minors, even on
private premises, is illegal, and that those adults who do so can be held legally responsible.
Further, families who make available any form of alcoholic beverages or other controlled
substances to students of Friends Select School are in violation of the Friends Select School
substance abuse policy. Infractions may result in the family being asked to withdraw from the
Friends Select School community.”
3) Health. Also from the Nemours’ website, “Alcohol puts your health at risk. Teens who drink are
more likely to be sexually active and to have unsafe, unprotected sex. Resulting pregnancies and
sexually transmitted diseases can change — or even end — lives. The risk of injuring yourself,
maybe even fatally, is higher when you're under the influence, too. One half of all drowning deaths
among teen guys are related to alcohol use. Use of alcohol greatly increases the chance that a teen
will be involved in a car crash, homicide, or suicide. Teen drinkers are more likely to...have health
problems, too. One study by the University of Washington found that people who regularly had five
or more drinks in a row starting at age 13 were much more likely to be overweight or have high
blood pressure by age 24 than their nondrinking peers. People who continue drinking heavily well
into adulthood risk damaging their organs, such as the liver, heart, and brain.”
Upper School Director’s Notes
May 4, 2017
Page 2
4) Alcohol and sexual assault. “Conservative estimates of sexual assault prevalence suggest that 25
percent of American women have experienced sexual assault, including rape. Approximately onehalf of those cases involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrator, victim, or both. Alcohol
contributes to sexual assault through multiple pathways, often exacerbating existing risk factors.
Beliefs about alcohol’s effects on sexual and aggressive behavior, stereotypes about drinking
women, and alcohol’s effects on cognitive and motor skills contribute to alcohol-involved sexual
assault.”
See more https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh25-1/43-51.htm and
https://www.rainn.org/articles/alcohol-safety about the risks of alcohol consumption and the
connection to sexual assault.
I am sharing all of this not to scare you, but to bring to your awareness the risks associated with underage
drinking. Please use this time to have a conversation with your child about good choices, limiting risks, and
taking care of their minds and bodies. With a strong partnership, the school and parents can help our
children stay safe well beyond the walls of Friends Select School.
In partnership,
Chris Singler
Upper School Director
CS/dy
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