I was appalled to see a large photo on the front page of the Local section of the Sun Journal (Jan. 12) featuring “Family night out.”

It showed a mother and five-month old son at a BYOB Family Night at Kiddos Indoor Playground in Auburn, which “gives families an opportunity to relax, eat and drink a beer or glass of wine.”

In 1992, the Lewiston Daily Sun printed a series of articles concerning the prevalence of fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol effects. The writer linked them to Lewiston women consuming alcohol while pregnant and, interestingly, Lewiston having the highest number of “social clubs, per capita in the United States.” The author’s research indicated that Lewiston had a greater than average percentage of special education students than would be expected in a school system of Lewiston’s size and tied it to the children having been subjected to alcohol during gestation.

Fast forward to 2019, with Maine being viewed nationwide as a state with many problems related to substance use and abuse. I believe that the Sun Journal must do some soul searching about trying to make such a BYOB event for mothers and infants into a feel good photo, especially after one of its own had produced such a critical, well-researched series which, although a quarter century ago, certainly has implications today.

Robert Hansen, Auburn

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