Bring on the Breathalyzer

It’s Saturday night in Ryley Room. The lights are low, the obnoxious music is banging and everything smells like french fry grease. Most of the students are packed side by side on the dance floor, while the rest sit at the sticky tables yelling over the noise in a sorry attempt to engage in conversation. Suddenly, one especially raucous student is grabbed by the arm and dragged off the dance floor. Shocked and bewildered, the unlucky student is aggressively cornered near the stairs by three teachers. He cowers under their shadows as they shoot intimidating stairs down at him. He is stuck… there is no way out. One especially tall teacher cackles a high pitched laugh. The other teacher grabs his hands. The third reaches into his pocket and produces a small square instrument. He brings it up to Joe’s face. “Open wide!” he says, before inserting a small tube into Joe’s mouth. The teacher reads a little dial. Within seconds this intoxicated student is escorted out of Ryley by three PAPS officers. This is the picture many students have conjured up about the day the highly anticipated breathalyzer reaches campus. The notion of random drug and alcohol tests at social events have clouded and worried the minds of many. Students have naturally reacted with concern at the prospect of a breathalyzer in the hands of the administrative disciplinary group. Some worry that such a tool will even be used as a weapon for teachers to target particular students. In light of such unease, let me take this time to end these false expectations and unnecessary worries now before it is too late. First, the breathalyzer will not be kept in Ryley, and it will not be used as a tool to test a chaperone’s impulsive instincts. As is currently done, a chaperone might question a student about their sobriety if they have considerable evidence to believe so; this breathalyzer will be used only when a student denies intoxication and the adult has substantial reason to believe otherwise. The breathalyzer will answer the question almost immediately, and therefore save considerable amounts of time, confusion, and trouble. Furthermore, this tool will, in many cases, be exercised to the student’s benefit. Students who are incorrectly accused will be saved the time and trouble of an interrogation and investigation. If a teacher’s speculations are incorrect, evidence will be easily produced to prevent unnecessary confusion and difficulty for the poor student. The school needs a more concrete way to confirm alcohol or drug use. A student is put through a DC only when substantial evidence can be provided. Unless a student is found in possession of cans of beer, a breathalyzer seems to be the only way to accurately justify a disciplinary response. People can get pretty crazy in Ryley, and it can be quite easy for a chaperone to mistake normal teenage behavior for drunkenness. A breathalyzer will give the necessary evidence immediately. Not only will it answer speculations at once, but such a tool will also aid in gauging the appropriate response to any significant health problems which might jeopardize the student’s well-being. Andover is incredibly behind its peer boarding schools on this aspect. We are one of the few schools that still do not have a breathalyzer on campus. It is time for our school to obtain a more reliable means of judging the legitimacy of accusations. Given the reasons, there are no justifiable grounds for a one to object to this proposition. Students might object and voice strong opinions against the prospect of an alcohol or drug detector, however it is necessary and the benefits are substantial. Such student attitudes are completely ridiculous; anyone who worries at the prospect of a breathalyzer should not drink or do drugs on campus in the first place.