By John A. Winters, Publisher

With school back in session, it’s time to remind kids how easy they have it today.

Let’s just start with getting to school. They can take buses, ride with friends or carpools or even drive their own car.

We had to walk to school and walk home. Our parents had to walk to school uphill both ways. Our grandparents had to walk to school uphill both ways in the snow.

Kids today are more worried about making sure their smartphone has enough battery power to get them through the day. They text message. We passed handwritten notes. The latter a dying art by the way.

I am amazed with their school supply lists though. As I recall we just showed up. Today, they need everything from cotton balls to perfumed tissues to pink erasers, 64-pack of Crayons, four notebooks, spiral paper, stress balls, sharpened pencils and Dora the Explorer or Teenage Mutant Turtles or something lunch boxes. And that’s just for the high schoolers.

And of course the rules.

My favorite is, to put this as delicately as I can, the “Throw Up Rule.”

Apparently, if one gets sick the only way to get to the nurse and thus get a note to go home is to have a witness to see said “throw up.”

Again, apparently, just throwing up is not sufficient. One must have the aforementioned witness.

Middle SON once asked his teacher for a pass to go to the bathroom to, again, apparently, toss his lunch or kiss the porcelain god or whatever they call it now. The teacher was going to send another student to witness said act, but it was too late. Middle SON just borrowed the classroom trash can.

With a teacher and 25 students present, the “witness rule” was achieved and he was allowed to visit the nurse for the call home.

Another rule, and one I personally appreciate, is the “No Wearing Hats Backward Rule.”

I appreciate this rule because I was constantly asking/begging/threatening Eldest SON to wear his baseball cap like a normal person.

I confess that the phrase, “that just looks stupid wearing a hat that way” came from my mouth more than once.

“It’s a gang symbol,” Eldest said about why the need for the backward hat rule. Apparently gangs wear their hats backward because …

And Eldest is not in a gang but still wears his hat backwards because …

Whatever.

• • • • •

On a much more somber note, I recently learned that Coweta County ranks sixth in the state for abuse of opioids (prescription drugs) among middle and high schoolers. That’s 6 out of 159 counties.

That is a serious problem. Top Ten in drug abuse is not a title anyone wants.

Fortunately, a wide-ranging group of individuals from the civic, business, religious, legal, medical and public safety worlds have joined together to look at this problem and find ways to fix it. Known as C-SAP (Coweta Substance Abuse Prevention), this group has spent months dealing with various issues tied to this epidemic.

My wife Corby and I are on the committee and we invite you to a Town Hall Meeting where you can learn more about this crisis and more importantly, learn how you can help our community.

It will be on Thursday, Aug. 30 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at The Donald W. Nixon Centre for Performing and Visual Arts (1523 Lower Fayetteville Road)

This is important for our community. Please join us.