Friday, March 04, 2005

High Schoolers: You have no privacy. HA!

From CrimProf Blog:

Just a few years ago, using breathalyzers at extracurricular activities like proms, pep rallies, and sporting events was hotly debated and resisted as an invasion of students' privacy. Eventually, these sobriety tests were accepted as necessary to ensure that students weren't smuggling drugs and alcohol into school-sponsored events or attending these events while intoxicated. Now, some school districts, ranging from Indiana to Connecticut and New York, are beginning to employ breathalyzers as part of the ordinary school day. School officials say that they have a duty to prevent drug and alcohol abuse and to ensure that students aren't showing up to class intoxicated.

The New York Times reports that manufacturers of breathalyzers have sold thousands of devices to schools, so it's impossible to calculate how many school districts are beginning to use breathalyzers as a typical school practice, but the East Hampton School District on the East End of Long Island is one of these districts. "Any student suspected of being drunk in class would be tested by a trained staff member, and not a police officer," board officials said. Results showing alcohol consumption would mean suspension. Refusing to take a test would be seen as an admission of guilt."

Civil rights lawyers are concerned that the tests will unfairly stigmatize students who just act goofy or don't abide by the norms. Following the same tune, East Hampton citizens have overflowed the local newspapers with op-eds calling the policy "heavy-handed." More from the New York Times... [Mark Godsey]



I support almost any measure that controls teenagers. Hell, we can't execute them anymore, the least we can do is breathalyze them. I know for a fact that many high schoolers drink alcohol in the morning or at lunch or sometimes in class. I know this because I've done it. I know all about hanging out with that crowd.

Why am I so anti-teen? Because I remember my teen years and I used very poor judgement. I did things then that affect me now. I made decisions that reverbrated throughout my life. At the time, you don't care. We're all passing around jack and coke in the parking lot, let's party! But one thing teens don't need is to be full of a liquid that makes you use worse judgement. They barely have any to begin with! Controlling teens and keeping them coralled until they grow up a little is a helpful thing. Do you realize that there is a very real push to raise the driving age to 18? Do you realize how many lives it will save? Do you realize why? Because most teenagers are dumb. I was, you probably were too, unless you were some geek. Of course if you were, now you're running a company and telling all the cool kids what to do. Feels good, no?

Also, if the ACLU thinks this will stigmatize kids, I have news for them: It will be a badge of honor to be breathalyzed. Kids will brag about it. There will be contests to see who can get the most. There will be races to see who can get breathalyzed first. Believe me, this is going to be a popular device.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Kay said...

I can't help thinking that if parents paid more attention to their kids, less would drink.
And for the ones that do, why can't the parking lots be better monitored and the kids that are found doing anything against school rules be sent home? Have the parents come pick them up, esp. if they were drinking. Parents should bear the brunt of the inconveniences their children cause them.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Phil Aldridge said...

As an added twist, Kay is my mother. She says this merely because she never had to deal with many inconveniences caused by me because I got away with almost everything.

See ya at home. ;)

4:53 PM  

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