'Parent University' teaches parents dangers facing children

'Parent University' teaches parents dangers facing children
(Source: WBRC Video)

ALABASTER, AL (WBRC) - The main message during a "Parent University" event in Shelby County was simple: Know what's going on in your child's life.

It couldn't be stressed enough.

The mother of 17-year-old Camryn Callaway spoke directly to parents at Thompson High School about the dangers of texting while driving. Police say Camyrn was killed two weeks ago after colliding with a tractor trailer on I-65 south near exit 242. Her mother, Michelle Lunsford, says she was distracted behind the wheel. Lunsford is now making it her mission to work to bring light to the true dangers of texting and driving.

"Take a look at yourself.  I was the worst. I did all of it. I text. I speed. I did it all. And this was a huge wake up call. I don't want parents to have this wake up call like I had to have," Lunsford said.

Lunsford sharing the story during a Parent University event to educated parents about some of the dangers facing their children. Organizers with Compact 2020 joined forces with Bradford Health Services and the Shelby County Drug Free Coalition to talk about how things like smartphones and social media can lead to increased stress and anxiety among teens.

"Drug uses -- the distribution between kids is through the cell phones," Judge Jim Cramer, the Presiding Juvenile Court Judge of Shelby County, said.

Judge Cramer says he sees teens in his courtroom on almost a daily basis. He says parents need to play an active role in their children's lives and talk to them about consequences of their actions

"Parents need to arm themselves and provide excuses for their children. That that child can go to their peers when the peers says I want you to drink or we're going out drinking, that peer can say, 'Nom I'm going to get caught.' There's going to be a consequence," he said.

Organizers say most parents are not aware of the potential dangers facing their children, and they believe "Parent University" is an opportunity to change that. You can learn more about it here.

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