Gordon Clay here. Saturday marks the end of Alcohol Awareness Month and I want to take this opportunity to thank Superintendent Brian Hodge, Principal Bryan Wood and especially English teacher Art Dingle for supporting the Through My Eyes essay contest. And thanks to the 108 BHHS seniors who wrote essays about the impact alcohol has had on their lives. Thanks goes out to the sponsors: Wild River Pizza, Fred Meyer, Words & Pictures book club, and TheCitizensWhoCare.org for providing prizes, judging and running the contest, and to The Pilot for providing space in each issue during Alcohol Awareness Month for one of the winning essays.

The majority of parents say they want to be the ones to teach their children about alcohol, drugs, and sex, but the fact is that fewer than 20% do.

In the 2010 Oregon Student Wellness Survey for Curry County, 15% of 6th graders, 31% of 8th graders, and 55% of 11th graders drank alcohol in the last 12 months. 67% of 11th graders said that they wouldn't get caught by their parents if they did drink without their parents permission and 86% said they wouldn't get caught by the police, either. Furthermore, 74% 11th graders, 52% 8th graders and 23% of 6th graders have a best friend who has tried alcohol in the past year without their parents permission. "Not my kids", you say. Maybe you don't know, but their friends do.

It's time you had another talk with your children about alcohol and drugs. Feeling uncomfortable or don't know what to say? Check out some ideas we've put together at TheCitizensWhoCare.org/brookings/drugtalk.html to get the conversation started. Make sure your kids graduate and have a safe and sober summer.