Public versus private school party culture

Ian Rees

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Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s High School days at Georgetown Prep were filled with partying and alcohol. Students say this same culture exists today.

The controversy over the confirmation of now Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh brought DC-suburban teen’s partying habits into the national spotlight. It was exposed that Kavanaugh and his friends, while at local jesuit school Georgetown Prep, had partaken in the consumption of alcohol on a consistent basis.

Some may believe this behavior is more reckless than what typical Bethesda teens would spend their free time doing; but is this assumption this really true? Can this drinking be found across all kinds of high schools throughout suburban Maryland, or is this just what rich private school students do? Is drinking and partying still as much of a staple in the social scene as it seemingly was in Kavanaugh’s day?

Georgetown Prep senior Clayton Tinsley says from what he’s experienced, public schoolers are about as reckless with their recreational activities as private schoolers.

“I hang out with kids from WJ and BCC a lot, and their partying and is really not much different from anything at [Georgetown] Prep or any of the other private schools,” Tinsley said.

Tinsley says though there are still lots of parties and drinking every weekend, he’s never felt that there’s some pressure to drink to participate in the social scene.

“Yes there are many parties. Yes there are many high school students drinking; I’ve known kids that go to parties and don’t drink, and kids that don’t go to parties at all,” Tinsley said. “There’s no pressure on them, and no one thinks lower of them; but drinking is definitely present among teens around here.”

WJ senior Robert Speier agrees that from his experience, public school partying isn’t too much different than private school partying. Though similar, Speier says private school students can get slightly more belligerent while partying.

“Most schools have really the same formula for good parties, and I can’t lie and say it doesn’t involve alcohol,” Speier said. “The main difference between private and public school kids is that, from what I’ve noticed, private school kids have a cockier mindset and kind of think they can do whatever they want. It’s not true for all, but I’ve noticed a consistent trend of that mentality.”

BCC sophomore Eden Goldblum believes the actual drinking and drug use habits isn’t much different from public to private school, but agreed that the mentality of private school guys is much different from public.

“I think the drinking and drug usage is about the same,” Goldblum said. “The difference is that private schools give guys the idea that they are superior to women so in a party scene that really shows.”