In Massachusetts, the Foxborough High students were giving the tests rather than taking them, with the help of local police and S.A.F.E. (Substance Abuse Free Environment) Foxborough Coalition. Using a quasi-entrapment method, teens approached adults outside 8 liquor stores in Foxborough, tapped them on the shoulders and asked the grown-ups to buy alcohol for them.
Forty-eight of the fifty adults approached refused to do so and received passing grades…I mean thank you cards from the students. While no one was arrested, the two adults who failed the tap test were schooled by the undercover police working with the students.
The “Shoulder Tap” campaign — aka a “Hey Mister” — has been around for years. A local Mothers Against Drunk Driving chapter in Massachusetts is credited with running the first known shoulder tap campaign in 2001 and discovered eighty-three of the 100 adults refused to buy alcohol for the teens. Oregon community coalitions have been running tap tests since 2009.
Although some tap tests have ended with arrests for the adults who bought alcohol for the junior g-men, the Foxborough participants said their goal was to raise public awareness that providing alcohol to minors is illegal. Really? I didn’t think anyone sober and over the age of 12 in this country is unaware of that fact. Well, class, what grade do you give this use of public funds?