Central Saanich school liaison officer Cpl. Pat Bryant will abstain from alcohol this month.
“I was talking to a guy from the RCMP who’d been involved in schools for a number of years. He started this campaign in West Shore. I thought about it and I thought to support these guys and promote a safe grad, and remember their night,” Bryant said.
Like many an officer, he can recall attending too many parties where police were required for safety reasons. One young girl who needed rescuing from a “wet” grad stands out.
“Certain things happened that were pretty sad,” he said. “Her dad called at 2 a.m. to get her out [of the party].
“That experience came to mind right away. We’ve got to do something to promote dry grads. So let’s put the challenge out to municipal employees.”
He sent out an email suggesting others in public service, and grads’ parents, might consider stepping away from the booze for the month of June to support local grads sticking to the legal drinking age during celebratory events.
“I like this idea because some of the grad celebrations I’ve been to in this line of work, I’ve seen a lot of kids just hammered and talked to them afterwards and they really didn’t have a good time,” he said.
The Central Saanich officer has received some positive feedback from the community, but notably the students themselves are happy with the support.
“I think that’s a great way to just raise awareness,” said Anjali Vyas, who graduates from Stelly’s this June. “I think it’s also good for students to see their parents setting a good example.”
Vyas is part of Stelly’s grad executive which connects with the parent committee planning the grad event and hopes adults going dry will encourage her cohorts to refrain from using substances for one night.
“Grad is a really important night and we spend all these years going through school to get to this point. I want to be able to fully remember everything,” she said. “It’s also the start of our lives as adults and I think that’s a really big thing. You need to take on more responsibility and this is the first night you can take responsibility for your life and your actions. We’re not children anymore – we’re becoming adults.”
The Stelly’s grads of 2012 will hold a day-long dry event on June 29 including ceremony, dinner and dance followed by an after grad party at the University of Victoria.
What do you think?
Should parents and other community members go dry for June to support our grads? Will you stay away from alcohol this June? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on the story online, at peninsulanewsreview.com.