A Georgia State University study says pre-teens who drink alcohol are more likely to report suicide attempts than non-drinkers.
The findings were based on a survey of more than 150,000 Georgia students in the sixth, eighth, 10th and 12th grades asking about drug use, nutrition and school climate. In the study, about 15 percent of students in eighth, 10th and 12th grades reported that they started drinking before age 13.
Monica Swahn, associate dean for research in the College of Health and Human Sciences at GSU, said researchers are not exactly sure what factors cause suicidal behaviors in pre-teens who drink alcohol, but several underlying causes may exist.
“The kids who start drinking early probably have problems in other parts of their lives, such as family dysfunction, mental health and anxiety, with family environment being the biggest driver,” she said.
Bibb school board elects new officers
In January, the Bibb County school board unanimously elected its officers for 2010.
The new president of the board is Gary Bechtel, the vice-president is Albert Abrams, the secretary is Ella Carter and the treasurer is Susan Sipe.
Before voting, board member Susan Middleton wanted to make sure Bechtel would speak for the board’s view as a whole, and not on behalf of his own interests, she said.
“The president of the board speaks for the board ... you have the ability to speak for me,” she said. “I think you sort of pull your own dog out of the fight at times ... and we need to make sure every board member is heard.”
Bechtel responded by saying he’s served as president of the board before and would take the job seriously.
“The first time is learning and the second time is not making mistakes you made the first time,” Bechtel said. “I take your concerns to heart and will try my best to make your expectations.”
FPD middle-schooler plays sax in national competition
First Presbyterian Day School seventh-grade saxophonist Barret Ham is competing in March in New Mexico in a national Junior Woodwinds Competition.
Ham was the division winner in the Music Teachers National Association Junior Woodwinds Competition, earning him a chance to compete nationally.
Ham has studied the saxophone for two years and is currently a student of Montgomery Cole at Mercer University.
Ham also plays in the FPD Symphonic Band, the Spirit of the Vikings Marching Band and the FPD Jazz Ensemble led by band director Jonathan Baker.
If Ham, son of Bill and Betty Ham, wins at the national competition, he will receive a cash prize and will perform in a concert during the conference.
FVSU hosts event for Haiti relief
The Fort Valley State University Political Science Student Association and the Historical Society will host a “Black & White Affair for Haiti” from 7 to 10 p.m. Tuesday at the Woodward Gym. The event includes a dinner, dance and brief program.
Tickets are $5 for students with identification and $10 for faculty, staff and the community. Money from the event will go toward relief efforts in Haiti.
Georgia colleges coordinating Haiti relief efforts
The University System of Georgia has created a page on its Web site that displays information about the relief efforts under way at a number of institutions within the University System of Georgia. As of Friday afternoon, the page, www.usg.edu/haiti, included links to information from 12 schools, including the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia Southern University and Georgia College & State University.
“Committed public service is one of the tenants of the vision of the University System of Georgia. Serving the community and helping our fellow man is a critical part of our higher education mission,” reads a message from Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr. on the site.
“The USG’s commitment to service is being demonstrated on our campuses as students, faculty and staff respond to the devastation that continues to unfold in front of us.”
Howard Beta club raises money for Haiti relief
Howard High School’s Beta club raised $280 to help the HOPE girls orphanage in Haiti, which was destroyed by the recent earthquake, organizers said.
“We owe a sincere thanks to the participating BETA Club members who so readily stepped up to the plate for this cause and a special thanks to the student body who donated so generously,” BETA club sponsor Lucy Gabriel said.
The high school’s Beta Club also works with Macon’s Habitat for Humanity and Salvation Army Canned Food Drive.
Houston to hold registration for pre-K, Kindergarten
Registration for pre-K and kindergarten students in Houston County for the 2010-11 school year will take place March 8-19, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the zoned school.
Students being registered for pre-K must be 4 years old by Sept. 1, and those being enrolled in kindergarten must be 5 years old by Sept. 1.
March 19, those who have applied for pre-K spots will be entered into a lottery, and parents will receive notification of acceptance or placement on a waiting list through mail.
Students do not need to be registered for kindergarten if they already attend a pre-K program through the Houston County school system, unless they are attending pre-K out of zone. Those enrolled at an out-of-zone pre-K program must attend kindergarten in their zoned school.
For a complete list of registration requirements for pre-K and kindergarten students, visit www.hcbe.net.
Macon State College to hold bird exhibit
Macon State College will host a free traveling interactive exhibit featuring live hawks, owls and falcons on its Macon and Warner Robins campuses Feb. 11.
The public can view “Raptors of the Southeast” at the Warner Robins campus’ University Boulevard entrance at 1 p.m. and at the lakeside patio of the Professional Sciences building at the Macon campus at 3:30 p.m.
In case of rain, the event will move to Feb. 25 at the same times and locations.
To find out more, e-mail Dr. Patti Sadosky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Compiled by Telegraph staff writers Andrea Castillo and Julie Hubbard.