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The Vox Box

Should parents supervise underage drinking?

*Erin’s note… I’m moving this post to the top, again, since it has generated such a strong discussion… So much so, that the Vox staffers are making it a topic in the Novemeber print edition of the paper.


I read an article on CNN about some perspectives on the issue of underage drinking.

“We taught them to drink in a civilized fashion, like a civilized human being,” says Stanton Peele, psychologist and author of “Addiction-Proof Your Child.”

He says many of the programs set up to stop alcohol abuse contribute to the teen binge-drinking crisis. Any program that tells kids flatly not to drink creates temptation, he says. “Preparing your child to drink at home lessens the likelihood that they are going to binge drink,” he says. “Not sharing alcohol with your child is a risk factor for binge drinking.”

Peele says other cultures have figured it out. He points to Italy, Greece and Israel, where children are given small amounts of wine at religious celebrations or watered-down alcohol on special occasions.

But many other experts say the psychologist is off base. “That’s ridiculous,” says Calvina Fay, executive director of the Drug Free America Foundation. “By allowing teens to drink,” Fay says, “you are giving permission to your children to do harmful things.”

What do you think? Is underage drinking always wrong? Is it okay for parents to set rules outside of the law in their own house? What about Europe, is their philosophy on drinking better?


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About this blog

In 2006, then-editor Steve Smith of The Spokesman-Review had the idea of starting a publication for an often forgotten audience: teenagers. The Vox Box was a continuation of the Vox, an all-student staffed newspaper published by The Spokesman-Review. High school student journalists who staffed the Vox made all content decisions as they learn about the trade of journalism. This blog's mission was to give students an opportunity to publish their voices. The Vox Box and the Vox wrapped up in June 2009, but you can follow former staffers' new blog at http://voxxiez.blogspot.com.

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