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May 25, 2016

Dear Be the Influence (“BTI") Parents:

Here is our May/June Update, in time for Memorial Day Weekend, Graduation ... and Summer!  Why does this Update look a little different? Read on!
Past Updates. If you missed any of this year's monthly updates, they are posted at (click under left "Content" bar on "Be the Influence" and then on each monthly Update.)  Additionally, our new website, has excerpted articles from our past updates that are contained in blog entries. Check it out!
Direct Links to BTI Parent List. Remember, access is easy (including off a smart phone) to the Parent Participant Lists.   Forget the Password?  If you have forgotten the generic passwords, email us at

As always, we welcome your feedback on this program! Please send us an email and let us know whether you find this program useful or not and how it can be improved.

-The Be the Influence Marin Committee

Our Influence is Growing - Introducing ...
Be the Influence Marin!

Why does this Update look different than prior Updates?  After starting at Redwood HS in 2010, Be the Influence was adopted by Drake and then Tam High Schools. Now, our Be the Influence program is spreading beyond the Tam Union HS District to The Branson School, Marin Catholic and San Domenico High School!  These schools will maintain their own Parent Lists in the Fall and be a part of a larger "Be the Influence Marin" program, receiving these monthly Updates. For now, this Update is going to Redwood, Tam and Drake BTI parents.

Check out our new website at

Combined Parent List.  In addition, at the start of the 2016-17 school year, we plan on merging the BTI Parent Lists of Redwood, Tam and Drake High Schools into a single list.  This makes sense since our kids often attend the same parties.  (Branson, MC and San Domenico will maintain their own separate Parent Lists as they get their programs started).  If you prefer to "opt out" of the merged Tam Union BTI Parent List, please email us at and your name will be taken off the List (note that you will no longer be a BTI member or receive these Updates).



Upcoming Events:  

Glow in the Dark Capture the Flag May 27th!

Redwood Night Live, a student club at Redwood is hosting a Glow in the Dark Capture the Flag tournament on Friday, May 27th.  This event is open to all high schoolers with a valid school id.  It will take place at Redwood's Football Field from 8-10 pm.  One of Redwood Night Live's goals is to show teens that sober events can be fun!

Safe and Sober Grad Nights June 9th-10th!

Redwood's Safe and Sober Grad Night will begin at 9:30 pm on June 9th and end at 3 am on June 10th at the Mt. Tam Racquet Club.  Drake's Safe and Sober Grad Night starts at 9 pm on June 10th and ends at 3:30 pm at the Jewish Community Center with buses leaving and returning to Drake's Parking Lot. Tam's Safe and Sober Grad Night will take place at the Mill Valley Community Center on June 9th from 10:30 pm until 5 am on June 10th.  These amazing events help ensure our kids celebrate their grad nights in a healthy and safe manner.  Be sure to let your kids know that police are often present at popular spots to watch the sun rise (such as Ring Mountain in Corte Madera) so they will want to remain sober...

Alcohol and Other Drug Use Peaks During Summer Months

Summer is a time for travel, attending camps and other programs, working summer jobs, and taking a break from it all by sleeping in and hanging out at the beach.  But for some teens, summer means they will start using alcohol, marijuana or other drugs for the first time.  

Each year, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health asks preteen and teenage students (ages 12-18) to report the year and month they first used a substance.  The results of this survey reveal that summer is most definitely a time for experimentation. Key findings include:
  • First use of alcohol peak in June and July (and also in December).
  • First use of marijuana, tobacco (cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco), and inhalers peak in June and July.
  • First time use of inhalants is highest in July.
The same holds true for college students.  A 2015 study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found similar results. Marijuana use and underage drinking peak in June.

Not so coincidentally, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that during May, June, July, and August, nearly twice as many teens die in highway crashes every day when compared to the rest of the year.  Youthful drinking also contributes to injuries and deaths during other popular summertime activities, such as boating and swimming. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionexternal link disclaimer reports that alcohol use is a factor in up to 70 percent of adult and adolescent deaths associated with water recreation, almost a quarter of emergency department visits for drowning, and about one in five reported boating deaths.

As summer approaches, it is important for parents to be aware of summer temptations among high school and college students and to take positive steps to prevent experimentation, which can lead to regular use.  SAMHSA advises parents to find activities and events that provide appealing alternatives for teens and to reinforce messages about the risks involved with using alcohol and drugs year-round, while consistently restricting access to these substances.  

During the summer months, some place in Marin there is a party every night.  Monitor your teens' whereabouts, reach out to other parents and use the Be the Influence Parent List, impose curfews and set consequences for breaking the rules you set in accordance with your family values.  Although parents may feel tempted to take a summer time break from being a parent - remember to lean in and be a parent and not a pal!
Model the Behavior You Want to See.  Parents are their teens' most important influence, in spite of what they would have us believe.  As always, we remind parents to watch their own consumption of alcohol, marijuana or other drugs. If your kids are going out, you may have to be sober to pick them up.  Additionally, our teens are often eager to point out our hypocrisies.  Consider the behavior you are modeling and the messages you are sending.  

Notification of Police Departments of Vacation Plans

Did you know that your local police department will collect information on your vacation plans?  This may help ensure that you won't be liable under Social Host Ordinance Laws in case there are any parties at your home during your absence. Considering calling your local police department and alerting them to any vacation plans you may have!


  • Summer Read:  Girls and Sex:  Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein.  This excellent book explores, among other things, the heavy drinking and hook up culture. It is a quick summer read.
  • The Twin Cities Coalition for Healthy Youth and Ross Valley Healthy Community Collaborative website at and both have valuable additional resources. Consider also joining and liking their Facebook pages for informative articles in your regular feed at http:// and These are groups of concerned community members,educators and young people that are working together with all sectors of our community to improve the health and wellness of Larkspur, Corte Madera, San Anselmo and Fairfax.
We wish everyone a happy and safe summer and we'll be back in touch in August!

~The Marin Be the Influence Committee

Redwood High School PTSA

395 Doherty Drive, Larkspur CA 94939

Copyright © 2016 Redwood High School PTSA, All rights reserved.

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