SWAT Must Go On

SWAT Must Go On

Bailey Smith, Staff Writer

It’s here. The Summer Winter Actions Tours, commonly referred to as SWAT, is scheduled to take place Jan. 2 – 5 in South Lake Tahoe. Fortunately, SWAT El Niño 2013 will continue this year despite a negative incident that occurred last January.

On last year’s trip, students from the Acalanes Union High School District were on a bus with students caught in possession of marijuana and alcohol as they crossed the border from California to Nevada.

Students were witnessed smoking during a rest stop in Elko, Nevada. Bystanders called the police, and when the authorities arrived at the scene, they were faced with two choices. Either arrest 250 students, or confiscate their drugs and let them off with a warning. Fortunately for the students, the police chose the latter.

Now the question is: should the SWAT trip be carried out this year after the catastrophic series of events that occurred last January?

It is unfortunate for 250 students to be blamed for the wrong choices of a few students. Clearly, not every student was partaking in illegal activities. It was the decision of a handful of students to transport illegal substances on their vacation, not that of every student.

SWAT El Niño 2013 should not be canceled based on the poor judgment of students from the previous year. It shouldn’t be assumed that history will repeat itself. Hopefully, students going on the trip this year will have better judgment and know not to make the same mistake as their peers from the year before.

Especially after what happened last year, students should recognize the grave consequences that could be presented to them if they fail to comply with the rules a second time. The students going on the trip this year should be smart enough to make the right choices.

Furthermore, parents aren’t paying nearly $500 to send their kids off on a three-day vacation that consists of rampant partying and the consumption of illegal substances. SWAT El Niño 2013 has stated that they are a zero tolerance trip. They present students with a behavior code prior to departure stating that they must comply with this zero tolerance policy. This code must be signed before students leave.

The most important goal for SWAT is to provide a fun experience for high school students, filled with skiing and snowboarding, while also ensuring worrisome parents that their children are under the watchful eye of professional and responsible staff.

SWAT clearly intends to provide a safe environment for students, but the students bear responsibility to make the environment safe as well. The SWAT experience will be what you make of it. Will it be a positive or negative experience? You decide.