"Perth researchers are alarmed by high school students' no-holds-barred attitude to leavers, with many planning to drink to oblivion and boys regarding girls as easy targets for sex," Cathy O'Leary reports in the West Australian. The candid comments made by students as part of the study are disturbing.
One student recalled, "Alcohol was the joy maker, the medicine, the object of trade, the breakfast, lunch and tea, the dessert. Basically, alcohol was all schoolies was." A female student remembers, "We would have to manoeuvre our way through crowds of disgusting boys who thought it was cool to grind up against us and try to kiss us. The bus rides to the zone were spent having to listen to the majority of the boys chant 'T... OUT FOR THE BOYS.'" (Full article.)
Leavers is a collision of forces good and bad. The good sees teenagers celebrating the end of formal schooling together, enjoying a newfound independence and strengthening friendship ties that will last well beyond the school years. The good of Leavers is often overshadowed by the bad; risk-taking behaviour, excess consumption of alcohol and other substances, violence, sexual harassment and assault and more.
The ugly? This Leavers culture appears to be entrenched as a rite of passage for students. Tales of passing out and hooking up with strangers are shared with pride and held up as something to aspire to and eclipse among younger students.
This year half of the graduating students will be aged 18 and legally able to purchase alcohol. Many are predicting a rise in alcohol related issues for Leavers 2015. Now is a great time to be preparing your Year 12 students for safe celebrations.
We are committed to shaping safer Leavers celebrations. Frame offers a dedicated Leavers presentation addressing relationship issues (sexual harassment and consent) and alcohol issues. We also offer more comprehensive programs to train up Men of Respect and equip female students with strategies to stay safe for life.
If you are interested in chatting more about Leavers and how Frame can help prepare your students for safe celebrations, you can contact Dan here.