West Seattle school mourns former student killed by alcohol

Renae Gaines, who coordinates the Southwest Healthy Youth Partnership, a community group working to fight drinking and other dangerous choices among young people, forwards news that 15-year-old Nick Barnes, killed by alcohol after a Lewis County party last weekend, had attended Madison Middle School here in West Seattle. Here’s the Seattle Times (WSB partner) story about the incident. A schoolwide note shared by Renae says many at Madison knew Nick well, and asks for thoughts and prayers on behalf of his family. You can get involved in the West Seattle group’s work to help local kids avoid this kind of deadly danger – its next meeting is 6 pm next Tuesday, Sept. 29, at the Madison library (3429 45th SW).

6 Replies to "West Seattle school mourns former student killed by alcohol"

  • Renae Gaines September 24, 2009 (3:15 pm)

    Within the West Seattle community underage drinking is a serious public health issue that leads to many future problems and currently is resulting in accidents, sexual assaults, poor academic performance, unplanned pregancies, violence and addiction. Our community coalition,”Southwest Healthy Youth Partnership” has been highlighting these issues for the last three years; however this community remains in “denial” and hasn’t actively supported the work by getting involved to promote a healthy community that delivers the same message throughout, “We will not tolerate youth using alcohol and/or illicit substances.” Our youth are not just having a drink, they are drinking to excess (binge drinking), having 4 or more drinks in one setting and smoking marijuana, taking ectasy and using prescription pills. Let’s not continue to send the message, “It’s okay, we did it as kids.” Make a difference in community level change our next meeting is Tuesday, Sept. 29th at 6:00 p.m.Madison Middle School Library. We are looking for volunteers who are skilled in public speaking, media advocacy, grant writing, fundraising, community outreach, youth involvement. Come and be be part of a workgroup or committee.

  • pigeonmom September 24, 2009 (3:36 pm)

    I have known Nick since he was an infant.
    His grandma and grandpa are dear souls. My heart aches for them.

  • Ken Allen September 24, 2009 (10:19 pm)

    This is a tragedy no doubt and my thoughts go out to the family and friends. However this is not an opportunity to take atvantage of a families loss by pushing your prohibition agenda based on fear. I don’t believe anyone is in “denial” either it is just a bad thing that happened and that is it. I don’t support underaged drinking but I’m not blind to the fact that dealing with alcohol and other drugs is something that comes early in life, like it or not. Please don’t use the death of this youngster to advance your campaign.

  • M. September 25, 2009 (2:02 am)

    I agree with Ken!

  • Bender September 25, 2009 (9:39 am)

    What are you guys doing to raise awareness of this problem, Ken and M.? Sometimes it takes a tragedy to make people sit up and take notice of the seriousness of any issue. Telling this young person to stop caring and go about her business is just wrong in my opinion. I realize that the issue of drugs and alcohol come up when you’re young and even those who choose not to use are still affected by those who do. And what is this “pushing your prohibition agenda based on fear?” It’s prohibited because they’re underage and someone just died. That’s pretty scary to me.

  • Renae Gaines September 29, 2009 (8:24 pm)

    To respond back to Ken Allen and M, my job is to address underage drinking in this community. My prayers are with the Barnes family but I would like to prevent the same from happening in other families in this community. I’m not against alcohol, but I do support adults role modeling proper behavior, setting clear rules and consequences concerning alcohol and if ANY person under the age of 21 has alcohol, it is a problem.

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