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Power of Choice could be effective with tweaking


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♦ Staff Editorial ♦

“Not everyone is doing it.”

By contributor Jess Arnold

By contributor Jess Arnold

When the Power of Choice Survey comes out with data suggesting the majority of students are making healthy decisions, the majority of the time that seems accurate.

In that sense, the Power of Choice organization seems to more or less succeed at its mission to show students they are not alone when they choose to avoid drugs or alcohol. We at “The North Star” will be the first to say we support organizations which have a mission of helping students.

But we’ve come to realize that The Power of Choice survey, the results of which are advertised around school, is often met with skepticism by the student body. Because of this, the numbers prove ineffective in influencing student decision-making.

Currently, the data on the surveys is all-encompassing of the four grade levels. Each grade level struggles with unique issues regarding its age and maturity; therefore, a single number cannot accurately portray the true story for each grade.

So while 90 percent of the total student body may not be consuming illegal substances, that percentage is likely heavily weighted by the underclassmen in the building. Therefore, many upperclassmen find this data laughable because it doesn’t reflect the actions of their peers. Though displaying data for the upper grade levels may show a negative statistical shift, it is still true to the organization’s mission if it shows favorable data while at the same time being believable. More importantly, grade-level data can help the district target those students at the most vulnerable age— whatever age that happens to be.

This all-encompassing data also conceals what may be a very real issue in the our community. When students see a number as high as 90 percent, it’s easy for them to feel as though drug and alcohol use is not an issue in our area. But there is certainly evidence to suggest otherwise. We need data that encourages action and prevention, not ignorance.

By titling the organization The Power of Choice, it is implied that there is a choice. But for students facing issues with addiction, the choice may no longer be there. Power of Choice data should always be displayed alongside information about where guidance and addiction help can be found.

The Power of Choice, as it stands, is ineffective. But we believe it can be great. It can serve to unite students, encourage healthy decision-making, and even save lives.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Power of Choice could be effective with tweaking”

  1. Noah on April 28th, 2014 9:49 pm

    That’s a great idea! I hope that this change happens!

    [Reply]

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Power of Choice could be effective with tweaking