In preparation for this year’s prom, Talawanda High School has announced that it will require students to undergo a mandatory Breathalyzer test as a prerequisite for admission to the dance. This measure has reportedly been implemented because of past issues with underage alcohol abuse at the Talawanda prom. While Breathalyzing every student at prom may seem excessive, in light of the potentially dangerous consequences associated with prom night drinking, The Miami Student editorial board supports Talawanda schools in their decision and urges Miami University students to set a good example and behave responsibly when around high school students.
It is important that high school students’ rights and liberties be protected, however the dangers associated with drinking warrant this stringent measure in order to protect the safety of the students and the greater community. Accordingly, the Breathalyzer testing should dramatically curtail instances of drunk driving, as has happened at other schools that have implemented similar policies for their dances.
Additionally, while many Miami students may not realize it, their actions uptown have an impact on high school students’ attitudes toward underage drinking. The allure of the college lifestyle and Miami’s prevalent drinking culture demonstrates irresponsible alcohol use to local high school students at a young age. Thus, Miami students should exercise good judgment and not allow high school students into college parties or buy them alcohol. Miami students must accept the responsibility they have as adults to set a good example for younger kids.
Ultimately, a fine line must be walked in enforcing underage drinking laws and protecting individuals’ rights. However, Talawanda’s new policy is justified and will benefit the students and the community. While this policy is warranted during an event such as prom, school administrators should exercise discretion during regular school hours. Keeping recent tragedies in mind, students must remember to use good judgment heading into the end of the school year.