By Emily Aguilar
EASTVALE – Eleanor Roosevelt High School held its first ever Parents on Point event on Tuesday, Oct. 13. The purpose of the evening was to inform parents on issues concerning teenagers such as bullying and social media usage. Cindy Cole, the parent of an ERHS freshman, was inspired to organize the event by her cousin, who has dealt with adolescent suicides in the San Diego area. Cole believes the city will benefit from the program because it will educate parents on the difficult conflicts their children confront every day.
Before the introductory announcement began, parents were welcome to browse the booths set up by representatives from Planned Parenthood, CNUSD Tobacco and Vapes, Hope Collaborative, and a booth that provided ultrasounds for teenagers. Many parents took the time to pick up brochures and ask questions about the programs.
After a brief overview, parents were sent to the F Building for a two-part session. In both sessions, parents had the option to attend a half hour presentations dealing with social media awareness, adolescent education, eating disorders, substance abuse awareness, suicide, parenting, or bullying.
Each presentation was lead by parents, current or retired law enforcers, or representatives from an organization; in other words these presenters had the right information to shock and educate their audience.
Parents were enthralled by the astonishing statistics, videos, and stories regarding the topic. They constantly interrupted presenters to ask questions or express disgust.
“I had no idea how easy it is for kids to lose their way,” remarked Paula James after Brian Nissen’s presentation on bath salts. “At least, [the schools] want to solve the issues!”
By far the most intriguing presentation was Jesse Winkler’s social media presentation. The room was flooded with intrigued parents struggling to listen to Winkler’s presentation from both inside the densely packed room and in the hallway. In his presentation, Winkler focused on social media’s negative effects on adolescents. While he defended social media for its benefits, Winkler argued that social media has turned teenagers against one another and has put them in danger, to which parents responded with disappointed sighs and terrified expressions. In fact, while talking about an app called “Burnbook,” which is used to anonymously post rumors about classmates, parents were silent upon learning that the app triggered suicides and fights across campuses.
Winkler, much like other speakers, assured parents that they should not “crack the whip” on their kids after this presentation. He told the audience to assure their children that they are “in your corner,” meaning that parents and children must have proper communication with each other in order to help them, and possibly save them.
“I’m definitely gonna let my girls open up to me,” stated Andrea Byrne on her way out.