Published on August 14th, 2012 | by webadmin0
“The Party Season: Welcome or a worry?”
by Simon Murray, Headmaster, St Peters College, Adelaide
I suppose it is a paradox that we, parents and teachers, spend many years bringing our youngsters to a level of self-confidence and knowledge that, we hope, has set them up for success in life. On the one hand we feel confident that, with many of our charges, we’ve managed to put wise heads on young shoulders but on the other, we worry that, from a School perspective social pressures may undo some of our combined good work.
Unfortunately, we do have to face this reality. The combination of exuberant youth associated new found freedom and the inevitable ‘bullet proof” view of life means that some young men may end up in some form of trouble and, sadly, drugs and alcohol may be in the mix.
As Headmaster, it would be remiss of me not to address this issue and to restate for the benefit of the school community how seriously we take the need both to keep our boys safe and to protect the hard-won reputation of families and the School.
I am not anti-parties, far from it. But there are potential dangers here and my own concern is more broadly reflected by the Heads of many schools, our teachers and our parents.
In an accompanying article, our Head of Senior School, Sam McKinney, has addressed specifically how we can help parents and our boys deal with this important issue and updates us on what the law has to say.
Please understand that we are not killjoys. Rather, we are here to help, to offer advice and to provide parents with the assistance they feel they may need to make the right decisions about “before” and “after” parties. In summary, we hold the view that a great celebration does not equate to getting drunk or experimenting with drugs.
The safety, welfare and wellbeing of our boys have always been the paramount considerations during school days. We will not, indeed should not, abandon that commitment to accommodate youthful behaviour which puts our boys and, possibly, others at risk of harm or worse.
Finally, there is the matter of potential reputational damage to the school. A private party promoted within the school through posters or invitations creates a direct link with St Peter’s College and therefore we will be obliged to become involved if there is a risk of reputational damage.
We understand that it is not possible to fence in our young people and nor do we want to do that. But there are many strategies and tactics available to you, the community, and to us to manage the reality that young men drinking alcohol is hardly new.
Tracy McNamara, St Peter’s College Marketing and Communications Manager
+61 8 8404 0523 or 0411446924