Alcohol Blacklist in Atlanta

The Times this morning prints a letter from an English woman who has family in Atlanta.

These relatives, which include children of school age, are reportedly on a “blacklist for the information of the local school families”. The reason for this is that they keep alcohol in the house and “American parents do not like this”.

Whether American parents like this or not is clearly a matter of opinion but, as a matter of fact, I’d like to know whether or not there is any truth in the alcohol blacklist story and whether or not similar alcohol related blacklists exist “for the information of local school families” elsewhere in the US.

Many thanks.

I can’t speak for Atlanta, but there was nothing like this in any of the communities where my children went to school here in Ohio.

There’s the letter.

I have never heard of that anywhere in the United States. Sounds like another one of a growing number of “all Americans are fundamentalist, puritanical fools; let’s point and laugh at their silly, misguided ways” articles I’ve been seeing in the foreign press.

I’m going to need something a bit more substantial than the letter linked in the OP before I believe the school put them on a blacklist for having alcohol in the home. Lot’s of people, even in the south, drink alcohol. I’d also like to know which friend of her her nieces and nephews live in houses with “machineguns”.


The letter sounds a bit like a looney wrote it. She assumes that one anecdotal comment describes the entire U.S.? If there’s any basis for ths, I’d bet it’s a parochial school operated by a fundamentalist church.

It’s not an article, it’s a letter to the editor.

The only thing that makes any sense is A.R. Cane’s suggestion that it is run by some sort of fundamentalist church. Even in dry states (are there any? Oklahoma?) the overwhelming majority of Americans will have some alcohol in the house.

It reminds me of the time my daughter came from school angry because only my wife and one other mother had answered a questionaire that no, we didn’t have a lock on our medicine cabinet. Now I don’t know anyone who has a lock on their medicine cabinet. I was looking for medicine cabinets some years ago and never saw one that did. So all or nearly all of the other mothers were lying. Similarly, the school may have sent a questionaire that asked about alcohol and only a couple of people answered it honestly.

As for guns, well no machine guns are not likely to be found in the average home, but in Georgia there may be some semi-automatic rifles.

For what it is worth I think her story is suspect to say the least. I’d go along with the parochial school/fundamentalist church idea, should there be a vestige of truth in the anecdote.

Please note the OP asks a specific question about the unlikely existence of an alcohol related blacklist available to local school families in Atlanta and, possibly, elsewhere in the US. It does not invite comparisons between the dangers of alcohol and guns.

There are dry counties.

A British writer may not understand the difference, I guess.

Oklahoma, same as several other states, is county-to-county. Even in dry counties, people have liquor at home - you just have to drive a bit further to get it.

What the heck is a “blacklist for the information of the local school families”? Like the school hands out a list of blackballed residences? Including only residences of school members or just the general public? I suppose it could possibly happen, but I very much doubt it. If so, it will only last a couple months until the first lawsuit hits.

Unless it is a private fundamentalist school, as previously suggested. That wouldn’t surprise me at all, but it’s what her family gets for sending their kids there.

I was also wondering what was meant by this “blacklist.”

A Southern joke of some popularity
What’s the difference between a Baptist and a Methodist?
The Methodist will say ‘hello’ when he sees you in the liquor store.

Then there’s the test of a good Baptist, he always puts his empty beer cans in the neighbors trash on pickup day.


I have a lock on my medicine cabinet. I don’t keep it locked, because there are no children in my house. But it’s lockable if I want to.

you gonna call ME a liar?

I live in Atlanta and have never heard of such a thing being done by a school. However, many small communities around Atlanta have large fundamentalist/evangelical populations, and it would not surprise me if some group of “concerned parents” kept a tally of non-dry homes for the benefit of other “concerned parents” (read: “nosy neighbors”). And I have indeed heard of bizarre dramas involving informal neighborhood “mothers’ clubs” where stay-at-home mothers apparently band together for the purpose of mutual support, socialization, and petty moral judgment of one another. Wouldn’t surprise me if something like this were involved.

Trust me, there is no shortage of Atlantans with liquor in the house (your humble correspondent being one of them).

If I had to guess, I would guess there might be a group of hyper-religious parents in some Atlanta suburb who do not want their children exposed to the eeevils of alcohol and I would guess that this group of parents (not the school itself) may have created some sort of “blacklist” for their own reference.

I’ve never heard of such, though.

The second letter in that link (from PAUL BUYERS, Bedford) is also a bit interesting because it sounds like temporarily shutting down a place for selling alcohol to minors is something the writer finds to be remarkable. Is it? What happens in the U.K. if a pub does the same?

And you can distinguish a dry county by the number of liquor stores & honky tonks located on the county line. Which mostly serve the residents of the “dry” county. In Texas we also have dry cities & dry former cities. (The Heights was a dry streetcar suburb of Houston. When it was annexed by the big city, the area retained the right to stay “dry.”)

But the police in dry counties won’t kick down your door to see if you’ve got beer in the fridge. They can’t even get search warrants for such a purpose.

However, I wouldn’t put it past certain narrow-minded church ladies to keep such a “list” for their community.