As a parent of elementary school students I am very used to getting weekly, and regrettably sometimes even daily, reports about their behavior at school.
But what if you’re a parent of a college student? Do you want to know what trouble they’re getting into far away from home? Do you want a phone call or note from his/her dean?
Some colleges around the country have decided to take advantage of the helicopter parent mentality to help keep their young adults in check especially when it comes to alcohol.
The new trend at colleges, including the University of Georgia, is for parents to be notified if their underage child is caught drinking, drunk or in possession of alcohol.
According to The New York Times, the list of colleges include: George Washington University, M.I.T., the University of Kansas, the University of Maryland, University of New Mexico, the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.
“These schools have concluded that one thing students seem to fear as much as expulsion is being found out by their parents. The reporter Jenna Johnson writes:
Research shows that parents can have a significant influence on their children’s drinking habits.
‘Students are more concerned about their parents being notified than they are of the legal consequences,’ said Edward Spencer, vice president for student affairs at Virginia Tech.”
It is puzzling though that a college can’t legally tell you if your kid is passing chemistry (even if you’re footing the bill), but they’re more than happy to tell you they got drunk in their dorm Friday night.
How much do you want to know about your child’s behavior in college: They talked their way into a bar with a fake ID? They’re binge drinking at a fraternity? They’re smoking pot with their new dorm buddies? They’ve been sent to the emergency room with alcohol poisoning?
What line needs to be crossed before parents are notified? Is it good for colleges to notify parents about drinking or does the cord need to be cut when they head off freshmen year?
What would you do if you were notified? (I’m having a hard time finding punishments for my 6-year-old much less when he’s 18 and outside of spanking distance.)