Teen Maze events at Canyon del Oro, Ironwood Ridge high schools - AZEdNews
Sections    Friday March 24th, 2023

Teen Maze events at Canyon del Oro, Ironwood Ridge high schools

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  • Michelle Valenzuela   |   Amphitheater Public School District

Police Officer Talking To Student In Gymnasium

Teen Maze teaches high school students consequences of decisions 

Sophomores at Amphitheater Public School District’s three high schools are getting a taste of potential consequences if they make the decision to attend parties that include alcohol, marijuana or illegal use of prescription drugs. 

The District has joined forces with Arizona Youth Partnership, law enforcement and community organizations to host an event called Teen Maze at Amphitheater High School, Canyon del Oro High School and Ironwood Ridge High School. 

On the day of the event, groups of sophomores attend a simulated party, held on campus. Music pounds, the students are offered red plastic cups (empty), and games such as pong and cornhole are in the room.  

Just a few minutes into the party, the students hear sirens, and law enforcement officers pound on the door demanding that someone open up. The police bust the “party,” and each student receives instructions to visit three tables, or stations, in the gym or meeting area.  

At each table, they learn of the consequences of attending the party. 

The stations include: 

  • Law enforcement: Students wear goggles that simulate impairment and are walked through a field sobriety test. 
  • Court: Students learn of potential legal consequences. 
  • School: Administrators explain what could happen at school, where they could face suspension, expulsion and/or removal from athletics. 
  • Probation: Staff from the Juvenile probation system explain what students could face if they land in their offices. 
  • Future: College and military personnel describe how a felony conviction could impact a student’s ability to get financial aid and/or enlist in the military. 
  • Substance Abuse: Volunteers from COPE talk to the students about the dangers of abuse of prescription and illicit drug. 
  • Diversion: The sophomores learn about the Wake Up! Program, which is a potential alternative that they may be assigned if they face school or court consequences. 
  • Hospital: Medical volunteers tell students about the potential medial problems they may face as a result of their decisions. 

All of the tables are staffed by school personnel and representatives of the participating community organizations. 

When the students have completed their three stations, they take a survey on their opinions on alcohol and drug use. 

“We are grateful for the community partnerships that make this meaningful activity possible for our young people,” says Beth Lake, the Amphi District’s Community and Family Engagement Coordinator. “Our hope is that students remember this activity and learn from it as they continue through high school and into young adulthood.”