District Attorney Danny Craig will be at school Tuesday, but instead of teaching students, he'll be there to educate their parents.
Lakeside High School's Parent-Teacher-Student Organiza-tion, which holds public forums twice each year, has invited Craig to Tuesday night's public meeting to discuss legal issues involving teens.
"I think really the gist of my presentation will be to emphasize the lifelong consequences that come from what some in our society have come to believe are minor offenses," Craig said, adding that he will discuss offenses related to driving, sex, alcohol and drugs.
Craig said parents often consider minor such offenses as driving under the influence, shoplifting, a minor in possession of alcohol, some drug offenses and parents providing alcohol to high school-aged children.
The free meeting is open to the public and begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the school's auditorium at 533 Blue Ridge Drive in Evans.
PTSO President Deborah Ward said the idea came up as a timely and important one for both parents and students.
"A lot has been going on with teenagers," Ward said. "There have been several accidents in the last couple of years that have claimed lives. There have been incidents in the paper regarding dating and other things that have happened. We just wanted to give our parents a chance to hear from the source themselves what the laws are, what is looked at and what is not looked at."
Craig said the discussion is not just aimed at teens, because parents often must pay the consequences for the actions of their children. In some cases, those consequences can be serious enough to cause parents to lose their homes and savings or face prosecution in criminal court.
"What we have seen evolve in our community and in society at large is a situation where parents, knowing that it is improper, knowing that it is immoral, with a wink or a glance away are knowingly providing or allowing alcohol to be served to children in their homes," Craig said. "And the consequences of that are tremendous. More and more the courts are less tolerant of that."
Craig said if a parent provides a child with alcohol, that parent is responsible for that child's actions until the effects of alcohol wear off - including wrecks.
Craig, who has given a similar presentation a few previous times, said he hopes the discussion will open eyes of both parents and teens.
"I think the message has gotten back into the homes and hopefully has been heeded by the young people who are so drastically affected by some of these laws," Craig said.
Ward said she hopes parents will come to the discussion with their teens to hear about more than safe driving, but about serious topics that can have lasting effects.
"We need them to understand what could possibly happen without thinking," Ward said.
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