A school in the area of Des Moines, Iowa, sent out an email to parents this week, warning them about a phenomenon known as 4/20. Because it’s new, apparently? And because parents in Iowa are so very sheltered from the world, that they’ve never heard of it before? I’m not sure if I’d be more amused to receive such an email, or legitimately concerned about the brain trust that is responsible for the education of my kid.
Maybe you have to see the letter to understand:
April 20, may be a holiday for your teen.
4:20 or 4/20 (pronounced four-twenty) is a term used as a discreet way to refer to the consumption of marijuana and a way to identify oneself with the drug subculture. Marijuana users observe 4:20 as a time to smoke together and April 20 has become a counterculture holiday, where people gather to celebrate and consume marijuana.
4:20 has become a code for a time to get high, a symbol of marijuana and its culture. Teenagers believe they can talk about getting high in front of their parents without them knowing by using the phrase 4:20. Fortunately, your teenager will not have that option. April 20 events are international and 4:20 has become a worldwide “burn time.” For parents, it’s a red flag, a warning sign that your teenager may be into something that could harm their future. When you see the symbol 4:20 or your child wearing excessive green clothing on April 20, beware of what it represents. April 20 has now become National Pot Smokers Day.
Our pop culture is pro-marijuana, as evidenced by the success of movies and celebrities who flaunt their use. This makes it more difficult for parents to get anti-drug messages across to kids. Use 4:20 as your opportunity to get a dialogue going about drugs, and not just marijuana.
Excessive green clothing?!
And this isn’t a letter from 1954, you guys! IT’S FROM THIS WEEK. (And I won’t even address the noun/pronoun agreement issues and abuse of the comma, ZOMG.) I wonder what these administrators would have to say if a parent replied with discourse about medicinal marijuana.
So, anyways, I was thinking that, if this district is really trying to bring its families out of the dark ages as far as COMMON KNOWLEDGE goes, I’d help them draft a couple other emails for local families.
Here’s one for the breaking development of something called the Internet:
Your children may be talking to strangers before your very eyes.
The Internet (also referred to, in code, as WWW or the “world wide web”) is a tool that your child may be using to pursue dangerous activities. A new development, called Facebook, allows individuals to connect with TOTAL STRANGERS. In fact, many of the kids with Facebook accounts use something called TEXT SPEAK, which is a code language meant to hide things from grown-ups and parents. Common terms to be alert for:
LOL: “Lollipop on the loose.”
BRB: “Burning R bras.”
WTF: “Waxing the fruit bat.”
IAPGTGOTAMRPLC: “I am probably going to go out tonight and make really poor life choices.”
8008: The word “boob” spelled out with numbers on a calculator.
The school has resources available to you, should you be interested. Visit the library’s card catalog for more information.
I mean, seriously.
It’s not like I think the school has bad intentions, really, but I think they could probably have picked a better way to talk about drugs with their student body than using the age-old marijuana scare-tactics. (Many of which have been disproved, for the love of Bob Marley.)
Am I advocating drugs? Hell no. I hope to Haedes that my kids make less than 1% of the life choices I did as a teenager and young adult. But I also realize that the best way work through this type of nonsense is not through ZOMGFREAKOUTPANIC! but through calm, rational discussions about modern pressures, consequences, and cold, hard facts.
What do you think? How do you plan to talk to your kids about drugs?