Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Sister Newspapers' News

January 14, 2013

Teens subject to Breathalyzer test at school dances

Policy aimed at reversing student drinking problem

— ANDOVER, Mss. — Students attending high school dances in this upscale Boston suburb will need to pass a Breathalyzer test before they are allowed in, the school board has decreed.

The policy is aimed at curbing a growing alcohol problem among teenagers in the community, including increased incidences of drinking and driving, officials said.

A student government poll of students found that more than 60 percent of them object to the policy, considering it heavy-handed and unnecesary.

Paula Colby-Clements, head of the school board, said she could understand the students' concern but non-drinking students had nothing to worry about since they would be in compliance.

"Whenever you have policies, like one making you wear a seat belt, people get a little antsy when Big Brother is telling them what to do," she remarked.

The Breathalyzer tests will start with this year's Valentine's Day Dance, one of the biggest of the high school year. Students who test positive will be subject to disciplinary action and turned over to their parents.

Andover is a community of 33,000 located 25 miles north of Boston. The median family income is $140,000. It is also home to the prestigious Phillips Academy boarding school attended by President George H. W. Bush and his son, President George W. Bush.

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Details for this story were provided by The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.

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