As everyone knows, Creighton Prep will begin randomly hair-testing their students for various drugs next year. As an alumni, I have a lot of mixed feelings about this new policy. I appreciate the leniency given to students, as it’s not a zero-tolerance policy, but I absolutely abhor the general motivation around this new system. I realize that it’s perfectly within their bounds to do this sort of thing, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.
Before going any further, I want to say that I don’t hate Creighton Prep. As cheesy as it sounds, I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had not attended Prep, and because of this, I think I owe the school something. And what better gift could I give to my former academic institution than to demonstrate the rhetoric of its own teaching?
Needless to say, I’m not writing this because I dislike Prep, I’m writing this because my teachers always taught me to stand up for what I believe in…because I was taught to ‘be a man for others’. I’m sure not going to catalyze a change to this policy, but I think it’s important for people to realize that it’s not reasonable.
I’ve read a lot of interesting reactions to this policy via social media, and people are bringing up great points, like – “What happened to the honor code?”, or the very simple retort made to all the nay-sayers, “Students who dislike this policy will simply not be attending Creighton Prep anymore.”
From my own experience at Prep, there were a lot of kids getting high, or drunk, or whatever. Some of these kids used drugs because they wanted to fit in, some used because they enjoyed it, and some used because they actually had an addiction. Of all these different groups of kids who were using drugs, the latter is the group that was the most rare, and in my opinion, also dealt with the most poorly.
For all the talk of brotherhood and camaraderie, the administration seemed to have no problem kicking these kids out the door at the first chance they got. The thing was that those kids were the ones that needed the most direction, care, love – whatever you wanna call it. It was as if substance abuse amongst Prep students was too big a problem for the administration to tackle…and that the bonds of a so-called brotherhood could be broken by addiction.
And with this new policy, substance abuse is essentially turning into a non-issue, because students who imbibe in certain chemicals are simply thrust out of the equation if they can’t stop using them.
It’s reasonable enough, but not if you believe that addiction is a disease. Some kids get fucked up for fun, and others can’t stop themselves from doing it. This has nothing to do with the moral guidelines set by the administration at Prep, it’s genetically inclined behavior that’s almost impossible to avoid.
And Prep is not a rehabilitation center, but I know they have the resources to be one if they felt like it.
I say this because after some researching, I’ve found that the average hair test runs for about $70-$100 USD. If roughly 80% of the students are tested, that would be about $60,000 dollars (at minimum) to ensure a drug-free Prep. But knowing Prep students, there will likely be failures and repeated testing, so if you factor that in, the total cost of testing could be estimated at $150,000 and up.
That’s a whole fuck-ton of money to test a majority of students that aren’t using drugs. That’s also a whole fuck-ton of money that could be used for something else. (Perhaps raising the teachers’ wages for their outstanding work?)
But then again, if you know Prep kids like I do (or teens of any kind), they’re not just going to ‘stop doing drugs’. If I were still a student at Prep I’d be totally bummed to hear this news, and my immediate reaction would be despair. But being an educated Prepster that was also leery of authority, I’d probably figure out very quickly what substances weren’t being tested for.
All you have to do is read Prep’s guidelines, or check the Psychemedics website for their testing thresholds: http://www.psychemedics.com/drug-panel-faq/ This link is more or less a list that any Prep student can see, and then figure out what substances can still be used without detection.
So instead of having kids drinking beer and smoking pot, now Prep may have students gobbling their mothers’ anti-depressants, ingesting a variety of hallucinogens, as well as using tobacco. Sounds like the student body will be much better off.
But exactly who do you think will be better off in this situation? Is it Prep’s own image or the students themselves? While it’s all good and dandy that Prep students will be largely drug-free, it seems to me that this is another great opportunity for the school to sharpen its image, and this comes directly at the expense of the students, as it always has.
When the word was spread about this policy, it turned into a pretty big story that created quite a bit of chatter over various news agencies. It appears that Prep certainly wanted everyone to notice this change. They let the camera crews walk right through the halls. Just a cleverly disguised PR stunt if you ask me.
I get where the school is coming from in trying to make it easier for kids to say ‘no’ to drugs, but the thing is, there are NO easy choices in life, and they shouldn’t be creating the illusion to their students that such simple choices in life exist. Life is complicated and everyone is bound to fuck up at some point, so why demand this absolute perfection of kids 14-18 yrs old? I’m still making mistakes at age 23.
And I’ve been waiting to bring this up, but what are these kids going to do when they get to college? My guess is that they develop unsafe drug/drinking habits because they weren’t allowed to figure this stuff out in high school. Nobody wants to hear this sort of thing, but you know it’s the truth. These students are gonna be totally shitfaced in college, but I suppose at that point it’s no longer Prep’s problem, which is very convenient for the administration.
I’d like to say once again that I don’t hate Prep, but I think that most of the agenda they push on students is absolutely insane. I love the education and admire the discipline, but I will never stand for a program that invades the privacy of so many innocent minors.
Such a blatant disregard for personal liberties is in direct opposition to what I was taught at Prep, and because of this I can no longer support my Alma mater, which is pretty fucking sad if you ask me.