LGBT stock photo - Clay Duda, JJIE.org

Double Jeopardy: Lesbian Activist Says Fear of Parents’ Homophobia Inspires Secret Life

[“Double Jeopardy: Lesbian Activist Says Fear of Parents’ Homophobia Inspires Secret Life” is part 2 of a 3 part series on LGBT issues. Bookmark this page for updates.]

Second Life is a virtual reality game wherein members create a customized “avatar” that serves as a digital representation of themselves. In this three-dimensional virtual community, the avatar assumes an identity, takes up residence and moves about in a world completely created by them, for them. Second Lifers buy property, start businesses, make friends, join clubs, attend classes or sometimes just hang out. Amber Holt* has never played this game, but in many respects, she feels like she lives it every day.

Laura Searcy: Underage Drinking Over Winter Holidays on the Rise: Incidents and Issues

The Kennesaw Police Department’s response to a citizen complaint, which resulted in the arrest of 32 people involved in an underage drinking party on December 29, is to be applauded. As law enforcement officers entrusted with maintaining the peace and protecting public safety, the KPD fulfilled their duty by enforcing the law. But recent coverage (in the Marietta Daily Journal) of this incident does not tell the whole story. “According to estimates from SAMHSA  [the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration] Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), on New Year’s Day 2009, an estimated 1,980 ED [emergency department] visits involved underage drinking, compared with 546 such visits on an average day that year; this represents nearly 4 times the average number of visits….The number of ED visits involving underage drinking was also generally higher on New Year’s Day than on an average day during either the Memorial Day weekend or the Fourth of July weekend.” The report cites “greater access to alcohol, less parental oversight and mixed messages from parents” as influencing this uptick in underage drinking and increased ED visits. The findings are in line with other research showing more alcohol-related problems over the winter holidays.

Juveniles Arrested for Vandalizing Cobb School and Setting Fire

Two children were arrested Monday for setting fire to a trailer at Lost Mountain Middle School in Kennesaw.  They are also accused of breaking 14 windows on the sixth-grade wing of the school, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  Both kids face felony charges of arson and criminal damage.