Parents want a stake in the planning of the 2002 Winter Games so they can better cope with "the problems and opportunities that the Olympics will bring."
In May, delegates to the Utah PTA Convention will consider a resolution that calls on the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, the state school board and local school boards to involve parents, teachers, businesses and communities in Games preparations."The health, safety and welfare of Utah's children will not be promoted by accident, they need to be planned for specifically," the resolution states.
State PTA president Barbara Willie said members of the organization want a place at the table to ensure children's welfare during the Games.
Public officials from local school board members to lawmakers have suggested that schools recess classes during the Games so that students can take part in cultural events, work or serve as volunteers.
While Utah PTA appreciates that the Games will be an enriching experience for students, many members want assurance that time out of school will be well spent.
"We have some concerns about how kids will be involved and how they will have a meaningful experience," Willie said, noting that not all children can be directly involved or obtain tickets to events.
"If parents can be involved in some of those decisions, it will alleviate a lot of those concerns.
"PTA's overriding goal is to develop a good working relationship with Games organizers and the public school system," Willie said.
Earlier, the PTA took a stand condeming alcohol advertising during the Games. The Utah group will ask its national organization to back this position during its convention in June.
Since then, Budweiser has been designated the official beer of the 2002 Games as part of the $50 million-plus Anheuser-Busch Olympic sponsorship package.
George Van Komen, a local doctor who heads the Utah Alcohol Policy Coalition, said the group still hopes to convince Olympic organizers to confine beer advertising.
Van Komen, along with representatives of the PTA, the Utah Medical Association and other groups affliated with the coalition, plans to meet with leaders of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee in April.