Monday, October 14, 2013

zero tolerance

let's go back in time to when you were between the ages of 16 and 18. you were a ripe high schooler, doing what high schoolers do - you were social, going to parties, hanging out with friends, and perhaps drinking [underage]. and sometimes when you drank underage [yes, you did. we know you did, so stop lying]. you would either [a] ask a sober friend to drive you home or [b] had an agreement with your parents that if you needed a ride home, they'd come get you - no questions asked [well, until the next day, of course].

now you are the drunk one, if anyone should get in trouble with anyone, you should. am i right? well, what if i told you the night you called your honor student friend to come pick you up from a house party [because you were drunk again], she was the one who got into trouble?

that is exactly what happened to this boston teenager.

let me see if i got this story straight: there was a party with a bunch of underage drinking going on. this girl calls her friend [erin] to get a ride because she is slammed. at least she is not too slammed to make one good decision. erin says, "sure, i'd rather you not drive drunk, i'll be happy to pick you after work. see ya in bit." erin arrives to pick up her drunk friend and right as she gets there, the police show up to bust the party. no biggie for erin, she wasn't partaking. her and the police talked about it, everything was cool.

her school, north andover high, didn't seem to think so. they claim to have a no tolerance policy when it comes to drugs and alcohol. fine. whatever they want their policy to be, that isn't for me to discuss here. however, she did not partake in any drugs or alcohol and was even cleared of any possible suspicions of such with the police.

BUT. just because she was in a locale that had alcohol, this is the issue the school is having with erin.

since she chose to make the right choice [as did her friend], the school kindly demoted her from captain of the volleyball team and suspended her for 5 games.

i guess erin won't be making that mistake again.

this is exactly the type of behavior schools, communities and media should be rewarding. instead of using this as a teachable moment, this school has chosen to tear down this caring, successful, and bright young woman. erin should be the example of what to do when you need a ride home from a party. instead, now, students at this school are filled with mixed signals and contradictory messages. from now on, students will think twice about calling a friend for help. or worse, they may not reach out to help a friend in a similar situation.

drinking and driving is ALWAYS dangerous. why would a school not promote safe practices? a zero tolerance policy is about as successful as teaching abstinence.

no one anywhere is going to stay away from everything. no matter how much you [or your policies] think they should. the best thing we can do for children [and adults] is to educate them. whether it be about drinking. or sex. or about career options. or political policies. or religion. or whatever the topic is at hand.

the more you know, the better your decisions can be.

i applaud erin. she made a wonderful, perhaps, life saving decision. and i hope that if she was in the same situation tomorrow, she'd do it all over again. 


No comments: