At Palo Alto High School, the administration feels responsible for educating its students about the transition in their liability in the eyes of the law once they turn 18. As such, they require seniors to attend several legal information seminars, hosted by Paly’s school resource Officer DuJuan Green.
The Campanile feels that while the administration is right in its efforts to give its seniors at least a modicum of legal knowledge before they are released into the real world, these talks with Green are not the solution.
These talks are informal and unprofessional, and Green failed to convey the gravity of any of the legal scenarios they delve into. They mask the importance of the material they are supposed to share with humor, rather than use these opportunities to effectively inform students. In addition, the talks are unfocused, with class time being wasted on shallow explanations of topics as diverse and unrelated as reckless driving, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and public indecency. It is this topic that, given the administration’s efforts to end Paly’s senior streaking tradition, would be expected to be the main focus. However, the officers were unfocused and gave vague explanation of criminal behavior. Green provided hypothetical drug situations as opposed to being specific on crimes and the sentences that follow those crimes.
The Campanile feels that it would be in the best interest of students, teachers and the administration if these aimless, uncomfortable talks were replaced with constructive sessions where students over the age of 18 could learn their rights and responsibilities as adults, without the weak PowerPoints and vague, ineffectual speeches unrelated to the concerns of students and unable to get the true points of interest across in a meaningful way. If the administration wishes to deter students from public indecency or any other illegal behavior, simply presenting law enforcement officers is not the solution; students deserve appropriate education about how their rights change when they reach adulthood.