Engaging young people in advocacy, education & prevention
Creating social change around alcohol, drugs, and more

Hurting for the community

March 18, 2013 12:12 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

From Straight Up’s Program Director Katherine Kasmir.

This story breaks my heart:

2 Ohio HS football players convicted of raping drunken girl; charges against others possible

Two members of Steubenville’s celebrated high school football team were found guilty Sunday of raping a drunken 16-year-old girl, and Ohio’s attorney general warned the case isn’t over, saying he is investigating whether coaches, parents and other students broke the law, too.

Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’Lik Richmond, 16, were sentenced to at least a year in juvenile prison in a case that has rocked this Rust Belt city of 18,000 and led to allegations of a cover-up to protect the Steubenville High team, which has won nine state championships. Mays was ordered to serve an additional year for photographing the underage girl naked.

They can be held until they turn 21.

Read more on the Washington Post website

I am sad for all involved, including the two young men and their families. And I hurt for the young people in our community as well. In my work with Straight Up, I have explored the issues of underage and binge drinking with thousands of teens and young adults and heard them express their concerns about these issues. Unfortunately, the party situation and behaviors in this story are brought up in almost every session and labeled as “fairly normal” and “somewhat socially acceptable” by teens and young adults in our Social Change Theatre workshops.

Young people, we’d like to hear your comments here about this article, and your opinions on alcohol use and partying. You can comment without using your name, and your email address will not be published with the comment.

Parents, when we talk to our children about alcohol, we also need to be talking to them about sex. And when we talk with our children about sex, we also need to be talking about alcohol. And most of us need to be doing both much earlier than we may believe or wish we would need to. Read the news article and take the opportunity to talk with the young people in your life. You may also want to consider attending or hosting a Reality Party for Parents to learn more about underage and binge drinking environments and today’s social norms.

And to all: let’s all get involved and make a difference together about underage and binge drinking, impaired driving, and drug use. If you’d like to contribute an essay or editorial to this blog, or to volunteer with us, let us know.

— Katherine