Lateral drinking

The wowsers are out again in force. This time, it is school fundraisers that they have in their sights. Quote:

Selling alcohol at some school fundraising events may violate the right of children in the eyes of the United Nations.

That is the view of Hawke’s Bay District Health Board, which has vowed to start opposing applications for alcohol sales at school functions where children are present.

The board has become concerned about the presence and promotion of alcohol in schools and education settings, such as fundraising events, discos, jubilee celebrations,?art shows,?quiz nights or school camps. End quote.

We are talking about serving alcohol to adults here, right? Serving alcohol to parents. Correct? Quote:

Alcohol was being made available in spite of?evidence that shows young people exposed to it in this way have a greater?likelihood of drinking at a younger age and drinking more hazardously. End quote.

Or then again, maybe not. If the parents drink alcohol moderately and sensibly at home, then the kids will have no overt reason to become heavy drinkers later on. They will simply accept alcohol as a part of normal, daily life, and will behave accordingly. If the kids are growing up in a booze stoked household, well, serving alcohol at the local quiz night will make no difference either way. Quote:

As such, the promotion of the benefits and consumption are likely conveying the message to the population of Hawke’s Bay that drinking alcohol is a normal and socially accepted activity that has positive and wide-reaching consequences. End quote.

Well, yeah. Drinking alcohol is a normal and socially accepted activity. Most adults do it, in front of their kids, and there are no terrible consequences. We produce world class wines in this country, including in the Hawkes Bay, so why exactly have they gone all temperance league when their own local industry is set to be badly affected? Quote:

Between March 2014 and October 2017, 139 special licenses were granted to schools in the region, of which 39 per cent were for primary or intermediate schools, 29 per cent were for secondary schools and six per cent were for early childhood centres.

Most were from higher decile schools and most were for quiz, casino, bingo, movie or auction nights. Most events had children present. End quote.

I’ve been to a few of these quiz nights and auction nights and there are not usually children present. Most movie theatres these days offer alcohol, and you can take your drink into the theatre, even if you are sitting with your children. A few years ago, I went to a fundraiser for a Wellington girls school, and the event was wine tasting! There were no children there at all. Quote:

Allowing alcohol to be consumed in school settings normalised and increased the perceived acceptability of alcohol use, and using children to promote the sale of alcohol at some events may contravene the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child, which required signatories ? including New Zealand???to “prevent the use of children in the illicit production and trafficking of [narcotic and psychotropic] substances”, the paper said. End quote.

This is just more virtue signalling and wrapping up children in cotton wool. Children need to be exposed to things that could do them harm. I am not suggesting that alcohol should be poured down a child’s throat, but early exposure to moderate drinking is fine. Kids do understand that adults do things that kids can’t. That is why most kids can’t wait to grow up. Quote:

Rachel Eyre, who leads the board’s alcohol strategy, told?Stuff?its position was that “alcohol and schools don’t mix” and ideally there would be no alcohol at school functions, whether children were present or not. End quote.

Well, there you go. Even if children are not present, there will be no alcohol. This is not about exposing children to alcohol. This is out and out prohibition. And in the Hawkes Bay, where many people work in the wine industry, it makes absolutely no sense at all.

I really cannot see how adults drinking alcohol in a controlled and sensible manner violates children’s rights in any way. But there will be one consequence of this. Without a doubt. Quote:

New Zealand School Trustees Association president Lorraine Kerr said she understood the report’s intention, but felt it failed to acknowledge the pressures faced by schools to raise necessary funds.

“I’d really love for the organisations doing this research to offer the money to the schools so they didn’t need to fundraise,” she said. End quote.

Well, there you go. Schools find it hard enough to raise extra funds as it is. This will just kill off that source of funding altogether.