So much swirling in my head over the Stanford swimmer rape case. So many social and moral issues all wrapped into one tragic story.
I find myself, embarrassed, guilty because when I read about the case months ago and saw the headline, "Stanford, Olympic hopeful, rape" I thought to myself, how very sad...that poor boy's life is ruined, a stupid mistake. I didn't really give much thought or pay attention to the rest of the story. How very wrong. On Sunday when I read the victim's letter she read out loud in the courtroom, I wept. Wept for the young woman's life that has been derailed from her own hopes and dreams.
Many in our nation seemed to be outraged by the judge's sentence, the father's letter, the boy's letter, it touches on so many issues within our society. Man vs woman, rich vs poor, black vs white.
The Turner family believes this unfortunate "20 minutes of action" was due to poor judgement while drinking too much. The blame seems to be focused on the college "party culture."
After reading most of what has been written about this case, I can't help but think of our community and our "party culture." What do we teach our college bound kids? What is that "talk" you have with your kids about college partying? Most high school teens go off to college having some experience with alcohol. Do we teach them how to drink before they leave so they know and learn their limits?
There are many different parenting styles in our beach cities community. Parents that say, "Absolutely not. It is against the law." vs., "I know you are going to drink, just be honest with me. Just don't drink and drive, uber." There are many parents who believe, "I want my kid home and safe, so if that means I have to serve alcohol so their friends come to our house, I will." I personally know and I am friends with all of the above.
So who is right?
I think we all believe we are doing what is best for our kids and our family. One thing I know for sure is we are all desperately trying to keep our kids safe.
Maybe it would be helpful to see Families Connected have an open discussion with experts on this subject and possibly parents who have raised their kids through college. What worked for them and what didn't? "It's against the law vs. I let my kid drink."
If Families Connected started this discussion, maybe we could start talking and open up more to each other, instead of the judgment I see all too often.
I used to think I just need to keep my kids safe until they're 18 and off to college; I will have done my job then. Now as my first child gets closer to that age, I realize how naive and young I was.
I have more anxiety, panic, anguish now then I ever did over the 4th grade mission project. This is the real deal, and I'm exhausted.
Please comment if you, too, would like to see Families Connected organize a small group discussion on this topic or if you have any ideas on how we can all help each other keep our kids safe.
South Bay mom and business owner