Friday, October 23, 2015

B-CC’s New Substance Abuse Policies- Have They Gone Overboard?

Teen drinking and its dangers have long been a perpetual issue for students, parents and administrators alike. As many of you know, with the arrival of our new principal, Dr. Jones, came a flood of new rules and the strict enforcement of many old ones. These policies have had the immediate unintended, or possibly intended consequence of diminishing the bond of trust and safety between students and the staff. Many of these policies include enforcement of substance abuse at school events. While there is certainly no disagreements regarding the fact that alcohol is generally bad, and that underage drinking should not be a social norm, are these new strict policies really necessary? To many students, these policies brazenly say “we do not trust any student.”

One of these new, aggressively enforced policies include the prohibiting of bags and backpacks from all sporting events, as well as homecoming. While the fact that students tend to carry illegal substances in bags is generally undisputed, the extreme act of complete prohibition of these bags is unnecessary. Mr Rivera, the head of B-CC security, states, “We’re gonna try that, to continue that with no backpacks… again it just makes it easier for security so we don’t have to check, and it’s harder for kids to sneak in substances.” However, banning all backpacks and bags not only brings up new security risks, but also leads students to anger and a sense of violation. Making students leave all their personal belonging out of their reach during school events creates a broken relationship between the administration and students, as they feel that the acts of some should not punish the entire student body. Also, forcing students to leave their bags unattended can be a great opportunity for valuable objects to be stolen. Specifically in regards to homecoming, bags are often necessary. Students bring clothes, extra pairs of shoes, allergy medication, hygienic products and all sorts of other necessary materials. Being forced to part with these items in and of itself causes multiple health risks. In addition, many athletes come to football games directly after their own sports practices, and still have their backpacks and equipment with them. Should these hard-working, spirited athletes really be forced to leave all their belongings unattended, just for wanting to support the team? Definitely not. A less extreme method would be much more effective and comfortable for everyone involved. Simply searching bags, rather than not allowing them at all, would not only be easier for students to consent to, but would eliminate the slew of security issues associated with leaving all the bags unattended outside...

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