AlcoholEdu not an effective way to prevent student alcohol consumption

AlcoholEdu not an effective way to prevent student alcohol consumption

Megan Battaglia, Multimedia Editor

With students rushing to get final quarter grades in and last minute homework assignments finished, the last thing on their minds is the online AlcoholEdu program. Unfortunately, that program held the authority on whether or not students could have attended this year’s Homecoming dance.

Homecoming is stressful enough when it comes to finding a date, a place to take pictures, and for girls, finding the perfect dress. This year, the AlcoholEdu program topped the list of stressful things to do in preparation for homecoming.  The online AlcoholEdu program is a mandatory 90 minute affair, 90 minutes that students will never get back.

The program’s main flaw was that students could easily become distracted from the program and do other things on the side while they were quickly skimming through the program’s prompts. The test is easily passable, even if you do not pay attention, with common sense questions such as what to do when someone offers you a drink.

While the intentions may be positive, the outcomes are negative.  With the program being directed towards teenagers, it should be expected that they will rebel against such a program.

The motives of the program could indeed drive students to do the complete opposite, just to spite the program.

Written words can’t keep students from drinking.  As much as the program intends to help, the changing the student’s behavior with drinking won’t change.  An online program such as this has little efficiency because not all students will be honest.  Anyone can fill out the course for a student, as long as the name is correct.  Online programs can be cheated and JC can’t get an actual positive response if it’s just a bunch of lies.
Compared to prior years’ assemblies, the attitude towards the Online AlcoholEdu program was outright negative.  When students were in a controlled environment and given time in school to listen to the speaker, they reacted more positively to what they heard directly from the speaker rather then what they read online when forced to use their own time.

We understand the reason for making AlcoholEdu a requirement. It was good in theory, but terrible in practice.

What was effective was educating parents with their simple, 20 minute AlcoholEdu program.  That taught parents how to approach their children and be a positive influence on them.  It established the importance of not allowing their children to engage in harmful behaviors and act as their main pillar for support against underage drinking.  Parents are the ones who will affect their children the most, as they are family and they personally know their child the best.

The student side to AlcoholEdu is not going to prevent people from showing up to prom drunk. This course it is not going to prevent anything. Students are students. If they want to drink, they will drink.

A more effective way to encourage students not to drink is to hold assemblies showing videos or pictures of incidents that have occurred because of teenage drinking.  Real life situations will hold more of an influence on students rather than a virtual test.

Megan Battaglia is a Multimedia Editor for The Patriot and