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A Sobering Thought for Parents

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Colleges begin notifying parents about students' drug or alcohol use.


When you send your kids away to college, you expect the university to send you a bill. A report card. But a notification that your kid's been drinking? That's what Mindy and Tom Gunn received from the
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, when their 18-year-old had violated the campus drinking policy.

"One of my biggest fears when we sent him away was that he'd get into the party scene," Mindy Gunn, 48, of Janesville, Wisconsin, told the Wall Street Journal. "I was glad to know the school will keep track of what he does and let me know." According to WSJ, a growing number of colleges, such as Texas Tech and Ohio University, are deciding to call Mom and Dad about underage drinking and illegal drug use, often at the very first signs of trouble. Some parents, like the Gunns, are happy for the heads up. Others, not so much...
"I think this is a violation of my daughter's privacy," says Lori Schrader, the mother of a Ohio University sophomore. "Plus, college used to be a place kids could go a little wild and be on their own. How is that possible if I'm being notified every time she takes a drink?"

WSJ reports that the University of Michigan sends a form at the beginning of each year to parents of new students under the age of 21 and asks them to sign and return it if they don't want to be notified that their child is using drugs oralcohol. So far in 2007, only 37 parents have opted out.

Hmm... What do you think about this policy? 

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4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous December 8, 2007, 1:29 AM

I knew breeders today were all into the attachment parenting thing, but come on. It’s time to cut the cord and the apron strings when the thing is in COLLEGE. If they want to drink themselved to death, let ‘em. They probably weren’t intelligent enough to live anyway, and the only reason they probably got into college in the first place was on some jock scholarship or something.

Anonymous December 8, 2007, 2:44 PM

Why are you so bitter???

April December 8, 2007, 3:03 PM

I love how this person is commenting on almost every article, and has such bold opinions… and yet, isn’t bold enough to sign a name. Real mature.

Anyway, this is a tad too “Big Brother” for my taste. I have a son, and I would prefer him not to drink underage, or take drugs, or even smoke a cigarette. But I’m a realist… kids today are going to find ways to do what they want to do, even if they are being “watched.” It’s up to the parents to instill a good moral foundation to ensure their children make the right decisions. Being supervised by their college will not stop them from doing anything.

Another Texas Mom December 9, 2007, 5:55 PM

Reducing underage alcohol use is about health and safety, not prohibition. Science now gives us much more knowledge about the harmful effects of alcohol on the developing brain (therefore age 21 laws). Alcohol industry marketing and college community bars create a culture of excessive and abusive drinking that promotes an unhealthy environment. As a parent, I do not want my child (who is mature enough to have a life without alcohol) harmed in any way by this culture (sexual assault, fights or other violence, car crash, injury, addiction or death).