A longtime policy of asking students to take brealthlyzer tests and imposing rules for behavior at school dances and events elicited a strong response Dearborn High School students, some of whom instituted a Twitter protest earlier this week.
The Twitter hashtag, according to the students, protested the rules at the dance. A Dearborn parent tells Patch that according to her son, that included random breathalyzer tests, lights left on during the dance, and a "no grinding" rule.
After the dance, the students took to Twitter to voice their opposition.
On Monday, the hashtag #OperationLetsDoThis began trending on Twitter—facilitated by Dearborn High students. The idea was to organize an in-person protest against school administration.
What follows is an example of some of the messages that were critical of the district:
- Daoud_Unis2 United We Stand #DHS #operationletsdothis
- BlakeRichards28 The administration is taking everything too far and ruining senior year. #operationletsdothis
It's unclear as of Monday night exactly what happened at DHS, but photos from the scene show what appears to be an impromptu gathering in the hallways of the school, in addition to the Twitter activity, throughout the school day.
After the fact, students said they expected some flack from administrators—while others were divided on whether the protest was a success, or a waste of time:
- GinaSoave If there isn't any type of riot assembly tomorrow.. I'll be pretty let down. #OperationLetsDoThis
- ernie6E waiting to see what happens at school tomorrow #OperationLetsDoThis
- HollyNevine I'm all down for #OperationLetsDoThis but I don't think we should bully our assistant principal. I think it's time to chill out. Go to bed.
- jenksEmily I had fun at homecoming and I don't bully over twitter, but I like that DHS is standing up for freedom of speech #OperationLetsDoThis
David Mustonen, the spokesman for Dearborn Schools, said the random breathlyzer tests were indeed conducted at Dearborn High, and that it's nothing new.
"This has occurred before at all of the high schools," he said. "The tests are voluntary—the students understood they could say no. But I would say that there are 1,800 students at the school, and the administrators are responsible for the safety of the kids while they are at school events."
The tests apparently were administered to seven students out of hundreds that attended the dance at DHS; all tested negative, Mustonen said. He added that police officers conducted the tests, and that administrators asked students who were perhaps behaving oddly to take the test, but that others were asked randomly.
Each of the three high school sets their own rules for dances and events, but their policies are similar, said Mustonen.
Administrators are responsible for enforcing rules and setting the tone at their buildings, and often times, students may not like the decisions made by adults, said Mustonen.
"We have to remember that they are kids," he said.