By Alex Pearl ’10
Substance abuse has always been a concern for Brophy College Preparatory, as it is for just about any other school today.
This month The Roundup reported that 47 percent of high school students said they have used illicit drugs in their lifetime.
Even with drug-sniffing dogs on campus or the breathalyzers at school dances, inquisitive Brophy students may be a little in the dark about their own school’s policy concerning drugs and alcohol.
In short, Brophy does not uphold a zero-tolerance policy for students who have consumed illicit materials.
That is to say, each case is examined individually.
A student having one beer on a family vacation is treated different than him coming to prom drunk.
For those who Brophy does not see fit to ask to leave, or for the students who come to the Brophy administration seeking aid, the Student Assistance Program is available.
In an interview with Principal Mr. Bob Ryan, Roundup reporters were assured that the students who come to the SAP, a program designed by
Brophy to rehabilitate students who have problems with prohibited materials and habits, get off much easier than if they get caught.
Also, the gravity of the situation normally impacts the punishment.
Mr. Ryan also stated that immediate expulsion as a result of a zero-tolerance policy is not “a healthy way to go about it.” Considering that no disciplinary case is identical in either severity or circumstance, this is a pretty sensible statement – especially when taking into account how sensitive drug and alcohol related issues can be.
I’d have to say that booting someone for drug or alcohol use on a “first strike, you’re out” basis would be outrageously self-righteous.
Kids make mistakes, and adults make mistakes with even heavier impacts – so why not take each case as it comes?
After all, this is a Christian school, and no one here is so free of sin that they get to cast the stone of zero-tolerance.
Mr. Ryan also insisted, however, that despite this there are certain parameters that can’t be crossed.
Drug use or presence on campus, coming to school or to school events drunk and other activities leave students well within the grounds of the administration being able to say with next to utmost certainty: “You’re outta here.”
Paul Richard ’10 showed sympathy with this, stating that “Brophy should be a drug-free place.”
That’s a fair statement, but since Brophy requires a gratuitous amount of money and effort to attend, it seems like a boneheaded decision to blow the experience by getting caught with drugs in your possession at school or booze on your breath at a dance; not to mention an irresponsible and inconsiderate one to consume these materials on a regular basis, wherever and whenever.
The Roundup also asked students about the report that almost 50 percent of American senior students admit to having used illicit substances during their life.
John Paul Malham ’12 and Richard both expressed a lack of surprise at this statistic, and thought that over four years of high school it seemed that there would be a higher percentage.
That seems understandable enough, considering the presence of drugs and alcohol nestled so comfortably in our culture.
Sure, “Pineapple Express” was an awesome movie, but it didn’t set the greatest example to teenagers who have yet to try marijuana.
That kind of stuff seems to be interwoven into teenage life by this point, and it’s nothing more than a judgment call by students whether they want to avoid it or not.