The month of January at CBHS was a bittersweet time at our school. As you recall, our semester began with the death of longtime CBHS Dean of Students, Mr. George Pratt ’65. In celebrating his life and remembering all that he has contributed to our school, we were fortified by many people. Monsignor McArthur celebrated a memorial Mass and the funeral Mass and inspired us to live according to the ideals of our St. John Baptist De La Salle. Moreover, in remembering Dean Pratt we were reminded of the importance of love and kindness to each other. Our school was honored to welcome the Pratt family to Mass and their presence was a source of strength and inspiration to all of us. Finally, the basketball team honored Dean Pratt by naming the student section “The Pratt House” in memory of our Dean. We are grateful for all those who have honored Dean Pratt and his family with their thoughts, prayers, and kind wishes!
On January 23rd, the BLC, the Shelby County Commission, and Lakeside Behavioral Health Systems co-sponsored two presentations from Mr. Chris Herren. His moving, inspiring, and revealing presentations covered the topic of alcohol and drug usage among teenagers. His path to heroin addict began with two of his father’s Miller Lites. He told the harrowing story of his journey to become a heroin addict.
I want you to know that his journey began with drinking beer in a “supervised setting,” while in high school. Furthermore, 7 of his 15 closest friends and high school weekend drinking partners became heroin addicts. His story is congruent with the research of Dr. Frances Jensen, who shared with us last March, that teenagers who regularly consume alcohol are more likely to become alcoholics and seek out stronger drugs. Chris Herren’s story strongly supports Dr. Jensen’s research findings.
The advice Mr. Herren gave to parents is to ask your teenage children, “why do you have to consume alcohol or use drugs to feel good about yourself?” While this advice may seem simplistic, it is a jarring question. It causes us to pause and reflect on parenting and how we choose to engage with our children. Essentially, if we are raising children to reach their God-given potential and loving them unconditionally, then alcohol and drug use may not become the priority in their life.
The final piece of advice Mr. Herren shared was that parents need to be present on Saturday and Sunday with their children. He finds in many communities that parents are fully engaged Monday through Friday and then disengage on the weekends.
I am grateful for your entrusting your son (s) to us at CBHS. We are committed to the total formation of your son and Chris Herren’s presentation impacted every boy in attendance. I encourage you to ask your son his thoughts on Mr. Herren’s message and to continue supporting and loving your son as he grows into a Man for Tomorrow and Brother for Life.