From: Steve Frommeyer, Principal and Head Football Coach, Eminence High School, Eminence, KY
It is that time of year again! Spring! Easter was absolutely beautiful! Spring break, spring sports, prom season, and graduation are all happening very quickly. Summer is right around the corner. It is a wonderful time of year! However, it can also be one of the most challenging times for educators and coaches.
My experience over the last 31 years has been that many students lose focus on their priorities at this time. They are tired of school; they are ready to get outside and do something different. There is a restlessness that most teachers and coaches will attest to experiencing from students. As a result, student-athletes often make bad choices, especially “partying” in all its many different formats (drugs, alcohol, sex, etc.).
To overcome this restlessness, adults need to help young people channel that energy into more meaningful and safe opportunities instead of the dangerous activities they often engage in with their peers.
Many schools and communities, for example, have successfully developed “Project Prom” and/or “Project Graduation” programs that give kids safe, fun choices for those special days instead of the often adult sponsored, alcohol invested parties. It may be time to develop “Project Spring Break” programs as well.
This is needed across the country to counterbalance the insane mind-set of traveling to someplace warm to get “wasted” for a week. Most kids just want to have fun and do something different. I refer to it as the 90/10 rule. 90% of the time 90% of the people will make good choices given “quality” opportunities. There will always be some that will make the wrong choice no matter what the support.
Remember, God gives us all a free will. However, I have found that if adults model and provide quality opportunities for young people, they almost always come aboard.
The insanity that goes on at spring breaks all across the country is not as much a kid issue as it is an adult one. Too much of what gets kids in trouble is either condoned or supported or modeled by “significant” adults in their lives. Interestingly, kids will also model our best qualities if we would just have the courage to put those qualities forward and stop trying to be “cool” with our kids or just like all our other adult peers.