ALABAMA – AUBURN HILLS, Alabama – It’s a common refrain among high school students in Alabama: “If I had a bad night, I’d go to jail.”
And as part of an initiative to address the rising crime rates in the state, state officials are trying to address that problem with a series of high-profile events.
At Auburn Hills High School, there are two nights a week where students are required to wear ankle bracelets.
They’re called “Bud Light Nights” and they take place each Thursday during the school year.
And in the last three years, there have been at least 11 arrests at the school, including four felony charges and five misdemeanor charges.
It’s part of a plan to crack down on the violent and violent-style crimes plaguing the city of about 8,000 students.
“There’s a lot of people out there who think it’s cool to go out to a party and be violent and have a good time and then you get arrested,” said Auburn Hills senior Matt Tipton.
“We’ve had to make a decision to change how we go out and have fun at Auburn Hills.”
As part of the initiative, the state recently began requiring that all students have ankle braceles, with the goal of preventing them from being involved in violent crimes or being involved with any illegal activity.
The bracelets will also be worn during school assemblies and after-school activities, and can be removed if the student misses class.
The state also is asking schools to provide a designated driver at their home.
They are also asking schools and parents to report suspected violent offenders to the police.
Tipton said his group is trying to spread awareness about the bracelets, but he said he knows his parents are concerned about their son’s safety.
“I’m scared of what they think.
I don’t know what’s going on in his head,” Tiptson said.
“I want to protect my kid, but I want to be responsible for his safety.”
Auburn Hills Principal David Williams said the bracelet initiative is a response to a series and he hopes the initiative will become a model for other cities.
“Our hope is to start the trend, where we’re going to start getting a sense of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable,” Williams said.
Tippons mother, Jennifer Haskins, said the group is part of what she called a national movement that is trying, through a program that started in the U.S. cities of Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, to get people to wear bracelets at home.
“It’s a way to raise awareness and create a dialogue, and hopefully the conversation gets better, the braceles will wear off and hopefully people will start to realize bracelets are not just a fashion statement,” she said.