Designated Teen Driver – Guilty By Association


by Carly Hill

I had my first “boyfriend” in 9th grade. Up until I started “going out” (not really going anywhere since I wasn’t allowed to date yet) with him, I was a little weird. Dating him was definitely a conscious climbing of the social ladder. His friends were sleazy and everything they did and talked about was shady, but I remained the good girl that I was and got dumped pretty quick.

I will say, though, that while I was his “girlfriend,” people treated me differently. Not just students, but teachers too. I will never forget the BIG INJUSTICE of my high school career. We were paired off for science projects and yes, I was with Sleazy-Boyfriend. Another group was presenting, and boyfriend did one of those cough-shouts saying, “MORON!” My teacher looked up at us and said, “Carly, Sleasy-Boyfriend, you two have an F on your project.”

Yes, I was the student with a 4.0 who never broke a rule or got a detention, so you could imagine my rage.
In the news this week, similarly, a high school girl has been punished for the same sort of thing – basically, guilty for association.

She got suspended from school and the volleyball team for five days, and had to relinquish her title of “Captain” all because she responded to a call from a drunk friend who needed a ride home.

Is it outrageous that she got in trouble for being responsible and picking up someone who was a danger to himself/herself and others? Yes, of course! This girl was clearly doing the RIGHT THING – helping someone in need and protecting innocent drivers who could have become victims of her drunk friend’s reckless driving. But, having been a teacher for a few years after I graduated, I can understand why the school penalized her. [Being a teacher/working in the school system is HARD and you are having to constantly make disciplinary decisions. You’re bound to mess up sometimes.]

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