A group of 25 parents, educators, and community leaders are hoping to set up a coalition against teen drinking and drug abuse in Beaufort County. The group gathered for the first time on February 9 at Hilton Head Island High School.
Serving as meeting organizers were Amanda O’Nan, principal of Hilton Head High School; Julie Bell, a member of the school board; and Roberta Foss, a parent of a Hilton Head High student. The gathering was triggered by a fatal crash on Indigo Run Drive last November, which led to the death of the driver, 17-year-old Kendall Walton; four other teens were also injured in the accident.
The group was asked to consider what they would do if they see a teenager attempt to buy a case of beer at a grocery store, and the cashier fails to ask for appropriate identification.
Sean Alford, instructional services chief of Beaufort County School District, shared: “Too many times, parents and community members are not responding in what I would say is an appropriate way when we see those things happen… unfortunately, we are at a point in time in our community when that has had negative effects in a very material way.”
It is the goal of the group to establish a coalition composed of members from various concerned groups, including parents, law enforcement officers, social services agencies, educators, health care workers, and the clergy.