Thursday, June 7, 2007

Hard Time High

Another creepy story about the growing penalization of high school comes from Cal State San Jose Justice Studies Professor (soon to be UC Irvine Professor) Mona Lynch (whose brilliant writings on contemporary penality should be on your summer reading lists). Mona writes about the experience of her high school senior daughter Molly:

For Molly's senior prom, which happened last Friday, the students all were required to ride a bus to and from the event, and were told to arrive an hour before the departure time so that they could each be breathalyzed before getting on the bus. They were also told that they would be breathalyzed as they departed the bus to go into the prom (in case anyone had smuggled booze onto the bus, I suppose). It turns out that they did not breathalyze everyone, but only "randomly" selected students, the majority of whom were boys. Then once at the dance, there were security "chaperones" surveilling from a balcony above and if they observed anything unusual, those students were pulled to be breathalyzed. One of the floor "chaperones" determined that Molly and a couple of her friends who were dancing together, were dancing too wildly or weirdly, so they were pulled from the dance floor and breathalyzed. After passing the test, she and her friends made sure they danced extra wildly for the rest of the night by the chaperone who had been so troubled in the first place.

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