Most people believe that schools are about the students. They would be wrong. Teachers, administrators, parents and tax payers are all more important than the students. Now to be sure the rhetoric is all about the students, and the students’ interests are used to support the positions of these other constituencies, but to be sure the adults are what schools are all about.
The debate over closing the high school’s campus is not really about reducing the use of drugs by the students at lunch time. It’s about the high school giving a deliverable to all the parents who have worked so hard on the Citizen’s Council fighting the war on drugs. Now adolescent drug abuse is one of the many problems of youth, but the solutions are uncertain, problematic and parental. Closing the campus makes everyone feel that finally something is being done about drugs at the high school, but I suspect most of the adults know that this measure is way closer to the “cosmetic” end of the spectrum than to the “substantial” end.
Better yet. The high school gets a twofer. Not only are all the parents kind of rewarded for the hard work, but neighbors get rid of all those messy, noisy students hanging out near their property. After all the acrimony over lighting the stadium, the high school shows some love to the neighbors. Talk about your win-win.
Except of course for the students. Now I’m not going to feel too sorry for the students having to stay on campus. Life is tough. But I would just note that even in prison the inmates get out for a little exercise and fresh air.