Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Drug Frenzy & the Moral Massacre from Hell aka. Schoolies

When I was younger, there was no such thing as “Schoolies”. I had only first heard of it about 6-7 years ago and never thought much about it except why didn’t we do that. Each year though we hear more and more about schoolies and this year is no exception. So far, I’ve barely read anything positive written about the event and instead there has been a constant barrage of reports headlining drugs, sex, booze, violence and debauchery. Reading some of the stories makes it sound more like an analysis of a biker bash than a school event. Funny enough, the more I read, the more I wish I was young again. Some of the wonderful headlines from the last few years:
Headlines 2008 34,000 Expected For Schoolies Booze-Up (The Sunday Mail ) Police Watch Toolies, As Schoolies Want To Party (The Heraldsun) Drug Dogs For Schoolies Week (Abc) Police To Crackdown On Schoolies Driving (Smh) Roll Up For The Schoolies Rip-Off (The Courier-Mail) Police To Crackdown On Schoolies Driving (Smh) Parents Help Schoolies Stock Up On Alcohol (The Courier-Mail) Schoolies Face Security Crackdown (Daily Telegraph) Teenage Pregnancies The Unplanned Outcome Of Schoolies Week (The Courier-Mail) Headlines From NEWS.com.au 2007 Party Image 'Lure For Drugs' Olympian In Schoolies Drug Bust Schoolies Porn Claim Probed Schoolie In Vodka Binge
And the winner for most misleading headline is:
Sweaty Schoolies Caught in Virgin 'Sauna'  NEWS.com.au - 2007 -A group of schoolies flying to the Gold Coast this morning found their holiday steaming up faster than they could have ever hoped when the air conditioning failed, turning their Virgin Blue flight into a sauna and grounding the plane.
Every possible outcome has been written about over the last few years and then I found the article below from the HeraldSun. You know that when the media include sex/drinking/drugs, Scientology and pro-family groups in the same article it’s going to be a doozey ... and it is.
Schoolies To Face Drug, Condom Blitz Herald-Sun Emily Power and Aaron Langmaid November 2008 MORE than 15,000 schoolies on an annual party invasion will be bombarded with safe sex and anti-drug messages. A drug information booklet sponsored by the Church of Scientology, and free condoms from a health provider will be available to school-leavers letting off steam when official celebrations start on Saturday. About 7000 Victorians will flock to the Gold Coast, at least 5000 will party at Lorne and Torquay, and up to 3000 teens are anticipated at Phillip Island after exams finish today. Volunteers from a Scientology-backed anti-drug campaign group will be at Surfers Paradise handing out free booklets about popular party substances, including cocaine, ecstasy and LSD. The guides have been produced by Drug Free Ambassadors Australia, who are backed by the Church of Scientology. The booklets, explaining the dangers and health impacts of drug use, will be available at community centres in Lorne and Torquay. A health-care provider is offering free condoms to teens on schoolies holidays. Marie Stopes International's TXT 4 Free Condomz campaign will post teens two condoms when they send a message on their mobile. The organisation said some young people were too embarrassed or didn't have the money to buy condoms at a chemist or supermarket. But family groups have warned the guides could be sending the wrong message. Pro Family Perspective president Angela Conway said the right approach was important. "It is legitimate to ask questions about this and what message it's really sending," Ms Conway said. "The reality is, sadly, kids know a lot about what's out there. This could just be promoting it."
This article is scarier than most and any rational parent would think twice before allowing their kids to be exposed to what the article suggests. First up is the horrifying tactic from a healthcare provider that has been harshly criticised by family groups as promoting something evil to our young kids ... safe sex. Yes, rub your eyes and reread it ... safe sex. This dangerous strategy of promoting safe sex via free condoms has raised that most worrying of problems ... sending the wrong message. God help our kids who get the wrong message that it’s OK to have sex before marriage. Condoms will do that! Schoolies Chiefs Reject Brothel Offer of Free Condoms Of course there’s drinking and drugs. And who’s better to protect our kids from these evils than Ron. L. Hubbard’s own army of Drug Free Ambassadors. What the hell is a Drug Free Ambassador, you may ask? Drug Free Ambassadors in their own words:
The Campaign is mirrored off the very successful Drug-Free Marshall program which has run for the last 10 years in the United States and South Africa, with thousands of children participating in programs run in their schools, pledging to remain drug-free. It has created a base of youth that say "no" and do resist the temptation to "experiment" with drugs.
With all the bad press lately about Scientology, I somehow doubt that these Drug Free Ambassadors are going to be taken too seriously, especially to a schoolie who has beer to drink. The Drug-Free Ambassadors program is just another run-of-the-mill anti-drug group with links to Drug Free Australia (DFA), Carly Crutchfield and other cult like religious groups. They don’t support Harm Minimisation, demonise cannabis and support the usual strategies of “Just Say No” campaigns. It’s also just another door for attracting scientology members and they employ the old “Q & A” strategy where they walk around with clipboards, pens and a questionnaire but under the pretence of answering drug related questions. You know the drill.
Then it became clear that most of them were tied up with the false idea that they were not supposed to promote their ideas to other people making statements like, "You can't tell people what to think" or "People have to make up their own minds." This sounds fine in theory but the result in practice was that people felt they could not "interfere" at all with someone's privacy and so they were inhibited about taking any responsibility at all! They felt it was somehow wrong to tell someone else that drug taking was a wrong thing to do. But this is what they should be doing. Not just preaching "Don't take drugs", but really knowing about the subject and the effects and giving them some cold, hard facts. We need to be able to talk to our friends when we can see they need help and reach out and do something -Drug Free Ambassadors - Church of Scientology
Maybe you might want to check out Drug Free Dave. I suggest you do.
I'm a Warrior against edictive Drugs -Drug Free Dave. Drug Free Ambassadors - Church of Scientology
With so many young people in one place there’s bound to be an huge influx of drug dealers. Victor Harbour, S.A. is one of those places. The Adelaide Advertiser has reported that Victor Harbour had an ecstasy bust with 2 men being caught in separate incidents with a staggering total of 39 ecstasy pills between them. Apart from that, no one was nicked for drink/drug driving and 32 drug diversion and cannabis expiation notices were handed out. Arrrh ... the wonders of decriminalisation. NEWS.com.au though, outdid themselves again with a report that $1 million worth of drugs were stopped on their way to schoolies. One small problem ... it was only a guess. The drugs were found in South Brisbane not Surfers Paradise and the police didn’t actually say they were for schoolies. Why bother with details when you have a potential headline with schoolies and drugs in it?
Police Seize $1m of 'Schoolies' Drugs NEWS.com.au November 2008 -Two arrested after drugs seized -Police says drugs destined for schoolies -Full coverage: Global addiction Two 20-year-old men have been arrested after Queensland police seized more than $1 million worth of drugs they fear may have been destined for schoolies week celebrations. Superintendent John Pointing, of the State Drug and Property Crime Group, said police found $17,500 in cash, two firearms and a stash of drugs, believed to be heroin, cocaine, methylamphetamine and MDMA, in two south Brisbane homes. He said it was possible the drugs were to be distributed at schoolies week and upcoming events. "We'd be naive to think that some of these drugs weren't destined for schoolies and other events ... in the near future," Supt Pointing said. "This is a very serious matter and we're very pleased to have taken this amount of drugs off the streets." Supt Pointing said parents should talk to their children about the dangers of drugs. "(Our) purpose is to raise awareness of the amount of drugs that are out there and it's timely ... for parents to think about their children, talk to their children about drugs."
When In School ... Do as the Schoolies Do We know that when young adults get their first taste of a week away from their parents that they are just like us and want to go sight seeing and experience some fine food at the best restaurants in town. Being surrounded by thousands of people their own age and away from their parents is just a minor distraction from the historical sites and local tours. Coming of age with half naked members of the opposite sex piled up in thousands of parent free apartments is just a side issue as there are the local wineries and beautiful countryside to explore. Being able to drink as much as you want and have the usual assortment of mind altering drugs available shouldn’t deter these young people from doing what we do on our holidays. Hmmm. Maybe not. But there are some alternatives to the mainstream schoolies: http://www.suqld.org.au/camps/camps.php?show=3 http://www.edgeonweb.org/read/opinion/schooliesweek.shtm We have to honest about what happens at schoolies. Think back to when you were about the same age and you had a chance to go away for a week or so with the same conditions? You would want real information how ever confronting it is. The Drug Free Ambassadors or the pro-family groups will not give real information for the fear of sending the wrong message which is simply dangerous and naive. Wishing for something like good old Christian behaviour cannot replace reality. I found these well thought out and responsible links for some useful information: Reach Out: [Link] Youth Central: [Link] TXT 4 Free Condoms: [Link] For those who hate the idea of schoolies, I found quite a few people wanting it banned. Even the ex Queensland premier, Peter Beatie considered banning schoolies once but he changed his mind. God bless him. South Australia’s mother of morals (the one with a 7-11 haircut), Anne Bressington, tried to introduce a bill into parliament which gave police the power to expel any schoolie from the event if found using or possessing alcohol or drugs during Schoolies Week. Bressington also called on police to use sniffer dogs and drug testing at schoolies. It’s shouldn’t be surprising considering her various attempts at stigmatising drug users but subjecting schoolies to even harsher penalties will not reduce drug use. This is something that Bressington has never understood and why she is completely irrelevant to rational drug policy debate. One chap who really dislikes the event is pastor, Craig Lloyd from the Grace Bible Church in Brisbane. Actually, I don’t think he likes anything.
First – Get Sodom out of your lives Make sure that what you do as a family is godly. What you expose them to, which friends they choose, what you watch on TV, what you do–make sure it is godly and edifying. You don’t have to take them out of the world–but do what you can to insulate them from the world. It is hard. I know how hard it is. Talk to them. If school or friends or activities are corrupting their soul–move them. If I thought school was leading my kids astray–I would pull them out–change schools–home-school them. I still have to face the dread of schoolies. I am sure schoolies started in Sodom. Hormone fuelled promiscuity, drugs and trouble. If I trust my kids and know who they are with and where–maybe. If not–I trust my relationship is such with them that I can say no to certain ways of doing schoolies. Get Sodom out of their lives. Men, women–you don’t want the heartache of drugs, unwanted pregnancy, rebellion in your children. -Preached by Craig Lloyd
So what did happened at schoolies this year. Was it a frenzy of violence, sex and drugs that only hell itself can replicate? It’s only two days into the event so there’s plenty of time for satin to do his thing but so far it’s been a bit of a fizzer for the doomsday nay-sayers. Only a few schoolies arrested at each hotspot with the usual hangers-on causing most of the problems. Maybe they are more cunning this year or maybe they have been well behaved. Maybe the increased police and security has had an effect or God forbid, most of them took on some responsibility. Either way, it will start all over again next year with the same warnings, advice, threats, scare tactics, pleads and sensational headlines. Whatever ... I still wish I was young again. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/11/22/2427063.htm


Anonymous said...

Dont forget this one..
Good title!


Jack Dorf said...

I wondered what would happen if the media ran positive stories on schoolies and the moral guardians sponsored it and encouraged participation.

Would the youth would stay away in droves?

Terry Wright said...

Thanks Anon.
How about this from the same paper:
Debauchery: Sales Of Morning-After Pill Have Tripled, Lives Changed Forever

Thanks Jack.
So very true.