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Underage Drinking
buzzed, B&W
hairylunch
Interestingly, the local paper has started a blog that's aimed at students. The first topic? The recent lawsuit against the Helena schools and their policy regarding extra-curricular activities and drugs and alcohol.

The discourse is interesting - it's obviously got some students involved, and there's obviously some people commenting without knowing anything about the issue, but it's awesome to see young people getting involved, and advocating, whether they're misguided or not. There's a lot of people saying people have a constitutional right to gather, so the students at the party shouldn't be punished. Apparently these people are missing the fact that the issue is underage drinking, not the right to assembly - not to mention the fact that the Supreme Court has decided that students don't have full First Amendment rights anyway

From the editorial:
Most of the letters we've received have insisted that parents should let their children take their lumps, although one of the plaintiffs, the mother of a boy suspended from the basketball team, had her say as well. The mother, who made her boy resign from the team once a temporary court order had reinstated him, argued that the rule isn't uniformly enforced and doesn't even affect kids not involved in extracurricular activities. She said students shouldn't have to sign away their right to equal treatment.
Interesting (and deserving of respect) that the mother made her son resign, even though she thinks the rule may be unfair. I'm not sure I buy her argument that students shouldn't have to sign away their rights for equal treatment - I firmly believe that extracurriculars are a privilege, not a right.

When I was in high school, there was a similar incident my junior year. We were planning on having a bonfire out in the country. Everyone parked on the one driveway out there, because we were under the impression that they were out of town. Well, apparently not, and the cops got called when the guy came out, tried to leave his house, and saw there were 30+ cars blocking him in. Anyway, the fire had never got started as there was snow on the ground and everything was too wet to burn. When people saw the flashing lights (we were a good 100 yards or so back from the road, in a lightly wooded area), some of them just took off running across the field (which led to stories on Monday of people running through frozen creeks and into barbwire fences in the dark), some people found gum, and others just walked on out to talk to the cops. Since I wasn't drinking, I just walked on out.

Apparently there was an underclassmen party that got busted as well that weekend, so there was a meeting after school the next week for all spring athletes. We got a stern lecture, and the athletic director said that if you had been at either of the parties, come talk to him. Anyway, I'm not sure how many did or didn't, but all that happened when I talked with him was a 30 second "Don't do it again" lecture. It would have been interesting to see how the community would have reacted if there had been stricter penalties - looking back, we would have lost key members of our track, baseball, softball, and tennis teams . . .

Of course, if it was our football team, probably nothing would have come of it - I went to a school with a huge football program (there's a population of around 25,000, and our football stadium seats 10,000), and the team was nationally ranked my senior year . . .

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Thesis burning party for the win!

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