I’m against the high school codes of conduct for athletics. I understand that schools have codes because of parents who host parties where underage drinking occurs. I’m not one of those parents who will condone underage drinking. My boys know where I stand on drinking and drugs. They understand that I will be tougher on them than the school if they engage in underage drinking. They also know that I will fight for them to stay on their sports team if they are caught drinking in high school, even though that fight might be futile. I have seen better grades when my boys are in sports. Why would we take away the activities our kids really need, want and look forward to?

Schools have athletic codes because of parents who don’t parent. These parents think that hosting underage drinking parties is cool in their children’s eyes. It’s not. You can be cool by setting guidelines, parameters, rules; by consistently enforcing the rules, and by encouraging discussion. It’s not a parent’s job to be cool.

Parents who sponsor an underage drinking party and should be heavily fined to send a message. Students who engage in underage drinking should be fined and they should do meaningful and demanding community service, such as volunteering at the Preble Street shelter.

If parents would step up to the plate and do the right thing, then we wouldn’t need the codes. Parent, teach, and lead by example.

John Gerken