Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring Break is Here! Don't Be Stupid!

It's finally arrived. What every student and teacher is ready for at this time of year--Spring Break! For me though, this one's not all fun and good times. This would have been Amanda's last Spring Break in high school, but she was murdered two months and two days too early to be here. For that reason, I'm going to start this week-long vacation with a warning to parents and students.

Students: Stay away from alcohol during this break!


There are legitimate reasons why it's illegal for you to drink and Amanda's untimely death should make that clear to even the blind! If you think you're tough enough, smart enough, or lucky enough to elude the dangers associated with teenage alcohol abuse...so did Amanda! She never expected anyone to get angry, pull out a gun, and shoot her down. Only 15 minutes or so before she died, a text message to a friend said, "I'm having fun." 15 MINUTES before she died, she was "having fun!"

The love everyone had for her is obvious. It's obvious from the posts on her Facebook after her death even to this day. It's obvious from the memorial service held at the school on her birthday. It's obvious from the banner still hanging in the gym and the posters hanging on my classroom wall. It's obvious from the countless visitors who came to our home bearing gifts and consoling us after she died. It was obvious from the 800+ who attended her funeral.

But don't just remember her now that she's gone! LEARN FROM HER DEATH!

The danger is real! Alcohol makes the smartest of people do stupid things. Staying sober, not drinking, and refusing to be around people who are drinking is the ONLY way to avoid that danger!



Parents: Talk to your kids about the dangers of teen alcohol abuse.


Don't assume they know, and don't hide under the cloak of "trusting them" to make the right decisions. My 17-year-old daughter died two months ago because a drunken fool in a drunken rage pulled out a gun and shot her down! Remind your kids of that before they go out, before they go camping, and before they go on their senior trips.

"Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it."--Proverbs 22:6

I always assumed I could provide a good example as a parent that would provide a solid foundation for Amanda. I knew she wasn't a perfect kid, neither was I. I survived my stupid decisions and I assumed she would too. I was convinced the old proverb was sufficient, that she would sow her wild oats as a youth, then settle down and live a good life. The problem is, she never got the chance to settle down. She never got the chance to "get old." She never got the chance to learn from her mistakes.

I took it for granted that she would have the opportunity to do all these things. But she didn't. She never made it to the future I was trying to prepare her for.

Don't assume your kids will either. Talk to them. Remind them of Amanda's tragic death and the role alcohol and drunkenness played in it. Don't provide them alcohol and don't condone anyone else doing so.

I pray and hope that all of you will have a great Spring Break...but one that doesn't involve teenage drinking. May God bless and protect each and every one of you.

1 comment:

  1. TROY AND JULIE HOLTMarch 17, 2011 at 7:32 PM

    GOD BLESS YOU JOHN AND JANICE AND COURT. WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS AMAZING AND I KNOW AMANDA WOULD BE SO PROUD THAT YOU ARE DOING ALL OF THIS TO HONOR HER MEMORY. SHE WAS AN AMAZING CHILD AND I BELIEVE THAT CAME FROM HER AMAZING MOM AND DAD. THE STRENGTH THAT YOU ALL HAVE IS AN AMAZING TESTAMENT THAT GOD IS ALWAYS HERE!

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