Shindigs shut down due to shenanigans

Glace Bay High School principal Peter Campbell last fall compared behaviour at high school dances to a pendulum.
“It’s like anything else — there is a pendulum that swings and the pendulum has swung to the point where we said that it’s time to put the brakes on, take a breather, talk to the kids and re-evaluate,” he said.
Campbell was reacting to the high school’s decision to cancel dances indefinitely after some students showed up at the first dance of the school year tipsy, scantily clad and/or spoiling for a fight.
Staff at Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High also stopped hosting its dances around the same time for similar reasons. And Riverview Rural High School took similar steps earlier this year.
Sydney Academy is the latest in a long list of schools to cancel its dances due to drinking, suspected drug use and fighting at a dance on Thursday, resulting in up to 30 suspensions.
Campbell sounds like an educator who has seen it all. And the approach he advocates is the sensible one. That’s likely the approach Sydney Academy will take. There won’t be any dances until staff members get the sense they can host one again without anyone getting hurt.
There are inevitably cries of “no fair” from students and even some parents. But what other choice is there? What volunteer wants to be associated with a supposedly fun event where people are getting hurt?
Some suggest giving students a breathalyzer test before allowing them into a dance. Back in 2006, students at Sacred Heart High School in Walkerton, Ont. were made to pass a breathalyzer test to get into school dances, after the school issued 11 suspensions for fighting and underage drinking at a previous dance.
But asking volunteer chaperones to administer a breathalyzer test prior to a dance at a public school with a student population of 750 is asking too much.
History repeats itself year after year.
Some teens engage in shocking behaviour at dances, some of which is potentially injurious, their elders are scandalized, volunteers throw their hands up in the air, and those who weren’t grinding, grappling or guzzling become indignant that their “rights” are being trampled.
High school dances aren’t a “right.” And there are those who would contend that the opportunity to cram into a school gymnasium with hundreds of others getting down to Britney Spears and Justin Bieber isn’t even a “privilege.”
Most parents and teachers just want to see their kids get through high school relatively unscathed, physically, mentally and socially.
When a high school dance becomes a threat to students’ health and safety, as was the case at Sydney Academy on Thursday, it’s time to shut ’er down.

No comments:

Post a Comment