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Should high school students have to take a Breathalyzer test before entering school dances?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on September 9, 2005

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Photo of Devin Baker

“I don’t think drugs or alcohol have any place at school, but that sounds somewhat ridiculous and expensive. The teachers should just use their best judgment when letting them in.”

Photo of Fallon Lowe

“No. They are just there to have fun. As long as it’s not out of control, they should leave them alone.”

Photo of Leigh Ann Livingston

“I think Breathalyzer tests in general are an invasion of privacy without probable cause. I don’t think minors should have to take them without their parents’ consent unless they have broken the law.”

Photo of Jeff Bremer

“I would say yes. First of all, they’re under 21, so it’s illegal for them to drink. Second of all, it might prevent them from driving drunk to the dance.”

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GreenEyedBlues 11 years, 10 months ago

After LJWorld went straight for the jugular with yesterday's question, drunken high schoolers should serve as a healthy distraction from the mess down south.

Breathalyzers at a high school dance seems crazy! Who wants to spend prom night in jail?

KsjKC 11 years, 10 months ago

I went to LHS in the 80's (we'll leave it at that) and I had always thought I had to be out of my friggin mind to go to a high school dance when I was in high school, but not necessarily drunk...

My 17-year-old went out last week and for the first time in his life he came home hammered--It angered and scared the hell out of me...I don't know if the kids should have to blow clean to get into the dance--I think that is potentially offensive and unneccesary---but I would agree with that being a recourse to be used at the discretion of some properly credentialed chaperones [read: a school official and not some over-zealous PTA mom or dad with their power-trip on]

Richard Heckler 11 years, 10 months ago

How about sex and drug education classes? Only if facts are shared...not lies.

Jayhawk226 11 years, 10 months ago


Some high schools also require all their students to take a charter bus from the high school to the prom site after taking their breathalyzer.

Parents, students, administrators and teachers were all debriefed about this ahead of time. Some may roll their eyes and complain, but we're trying to keep all kids safe and schools from becoming liable for stupid decisions made by kids.

This has been going on for years...Kansas tends to follow suit of other school districts years behind. I believe it is a great idea and maintains accountability in our young adults.

God forbid.

KsjKC 11 years, 10 months ago

THAT Is my chief concern--That there will be some yahoo confusing the breathalyzer and stool sample protocol; thus giving a new and unpleasant meaning to s***faced...

KsjKC 11 years, 10 months ago

LOL-- "What a great skirt! What material IS that?" "I call it Crown Royal Velvet..."

Jayhawk226 11 years, 10 months ago

LOL LOL LOL... I can officially start my day with a laugh!!

Thanks OMB and KsjKC.

Have a great day/weekend all!

KsjKC 11 years, 10 months ago

Even_money: Not even as an accessory? Could I, as the male, wear it as a lapel-type ornament?

uberdu 11 years, 10 months ago

No, not to enter. But there are kids under the influence at both high schools during dances, so it should be an option for the schools to use at those functions. If the kids are not under the influence, they have nothing to worry about.

KsjKC 11 years, 10 months ago

Average--I agree..but if the machine is to be used at all, I'd like to see it used by someone with some training and some discretion...

I get really frosted at the "guilt by association" mindset anyway--

average 11 years, 10 months ago

If the policy is "no pre-dance alcohol", I'd rather the machine than the judgement of the staff.

Slightly over a decade ago, at my high school (not Lawrence), the staff would accuse "troublemakers" (students they didn't like) of being drunk. Notably, minority students were told they "smelled of liquor". Children of wealthy and influential parents came in to the dance seriously sozzled. They even had a breathalyzer, but they only used it sporadically.... letting some students bypass it and accusing others without the test.

I think our alcohol and drug laws and morals are dumb, but I'd rather the machine make the call than a racist football-failure principal.

Hilary Morton 11 years, 10 months ago

Ah, Drunken Lion's Leap. Drunken WPA. Drunken Homecoming. Drunken high school. Now that I'm an adult (gulp) it makes sense, but kids who really like to pound the booze before the dance, and get s**t-faced and stupid deserved to get kicked out of dances. They always have. However, those of us who liked to get a little happy before dances, and didn't act like complete jackasses always seem to get off fine. Should they make everybody take a breathalyzer? Do they do that on a daily basis at school? Of course not. I seem to remember people not just waiting for school dances to get a little buzzed. It should just be for those who are obviously obliterated, belligerent, puking and causing a scene. I know it's illegal to drink, but it seems a little out of control to force kids to blow at a dance, when it's perfectly ok for them to come to school under the influence on a Tuesday morning, to a basketball game, or to a swim meet, etc..

KsjKC 11 years, 10 months ago

Hilary-- That's more of what I am trying to defend. Let me float a theoretical:

IF there ARE breathalyzers at dances, they should be used by trained individuals when it is apparent that someone has crossed some sort of line... NOT as an arbitrary device used for admission... If I had a nickel for every dance at LHS I went to under the influence--Well, I probably would already have spent it on a six-pack of something crappy because I had no taste in high school....

Topside 11 years, 10 months ago

Oh I hated the Colonel with those wee beady eyes and that smug look on his face saying, "Oh your going to buy my chicken!" -Mr. McKenzie

myidea 11 years, 10 months ago

I don't think EVERYONE should be tested, but those who are acting drunk and disorderly, SURE why not? Especially if they're going to possibly leave and drive their drunk high school butts home.

However, for my high school showing up drunk never was popular, but getting trashed afterwards sure was.

rhd99 11 years, 10 months ago

Aiko, & all, My apologies if I seemed angry. I am not angry at anyone, I am just frustrated that its taken this long when students have alcohol in their possession that it has come to this new policy. I don't know why Lawrence waited this long. Again, it's my frustration with the system, not anyone on this board. My apologies.

beatrice 11 years, 10 months ago

Won't a breathalyzer somehow disarm the tracking device micro-chips we place in their skulls?

We must trust people, including youngsters, to do the right thing, but punish those who do not. How would you like to take a breathalyzer, or urine test, or give a blood sample, just because someone else might be drunk or high? It isn't right, and I blame President Bush. If it wasn't for his policies on ... oh, wait, I'm sorry, just a little residual from yesterday. Have a great Friday everyone!

rhd99 11 years, 10 months ago

NOT everyone should be tested. I know it's different from the movies, but somebody could be wearing a coat & secretly tainting the punch. If it's like a strip search or just a plain search, then whatever, but one of the bad apples needs to be thrown out.

hottruckinmama 11 years, 10 months ago

before you know it they'll be giving them a breathalyzer before they can go to school everyday too. i'm glad that my youngest 2 are close to gradution. schools are getting more flakey all the time.

KsjKC 11 years, 10 months ago

even_money-- I bet if I wore a Xanax pin I wouldn't notice ... or care ... about anything ... for a really really long time ....

hottruckinmama--Same deal--My sons are almost out of high school and I breathe a little easier everyday (albeit not into a breathalyzer tube...)

Manson 11 years, 10 months ago

Sure Breathalize them when they get in. Then they go inside to the bathroom and down the 1/5 of Whiskey in their pocket. Where does it end? What's next? Strip Search? Get Real.

These kids are smarter than all of you! Lest we forget our own highschool days where we were guilty of the same damn thing. Except for the few that didn't.

BunE 11 years, 10 months ago

Bill Clinton is the reason that kids have no self control now-a-days. Booze, sex, pills...

KsjKC 11 years, 10 months ago

If I had gone to school with Monica I would have..well--anyway--"I blame Clinton!"

I feel so...absolved now..;)

Aileen Dingus 11 years, 10 months ago

"I know it's illegal to drink, but it seems a little out of control to force kids to blow at a dance, when it's perfectly ok for them to come to school under the influence on a Tuesday morning, to a basketball game, or to a swim meet, etc.."

I believe that sentence is the scariest thing I've read in a while. Obviously the problem goes deeper than just "having fun" at the dance. If underage kids are getting drunk before classes etc... there is a PROBLEM.

There has got to be more of a reason for getting drunk than just "All the cool kids do it." What is making these kids think they need to be drunk to make it through the day? THAT is what needs to be addressed here. Being drunk at a dance is merely an extension.

If properly administered, professional breathalyzer tests at dances help curb underage drinking, I'm all for them. If someone is worried about "civil liberties" being quashed- well- they don't have to go to the dance now do they?

myidea 11 years, 10 months ago

Bob- Nope, didn't ever go to a small-town school. Like I said, we'd just get trashed afterwards. :-)

KsjKC 11 years, 10 months ago

Well, the only problem with your post is that one can infer that attending a school dance is the equivalent to a surrender of civil liberties...

There are flaws in any type of deterrence--Chief among them is the potential trauma associated with an otherwise abstemious youth being forced to blow just because he or she was acting the fool.

I don't like underage drinking any more than you do, but I don't want innocent foolishness viewed through the cynicism of a breathalyzer tube...This is ground best carefully trod...

Manson 11 years, 10 months ago

"If properly administered, professional breathalyzer tests at dances help curb underage drinking, I'm all for them. If someone is worried about "civil liberties" being quashed- well- they don't have to go to the dance now do they?"-Dazie

Sure Breathalize them when they get in. Then they go inside to the bathroom and down the 1/5 of Whiskey in their pocket. Where does it end? What's next? Strip Search? Get Real.

These kids are smarter than all of you!

Aileen Dingus 11 years, 10 months ago

KsjKC- did you mean me?

The civil liberties reference was in response to the "brown" suggestion... I took that as a reference to the "Brown Shirts" within the Nazi party. If someone believes that requiring breathalyzers is akin to Nazi-ism, then don't go to the dance.

KsjKC 11 years, 10 months ago


The brown reference could have been a "brown shirt" reference--My inferrence was that of a brown paper bag disguise for anything incriminating...but I get things wrong on an hourly basis..;)

I agreed with your stand and still do--like I said, I just think this calls for careful administration. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to combat this. Feelings will be hurt and blame will be assigned...

Leave it to Beaver remains in reruns and I have to admit as a 40-year-old father--there are times I miss even that false illusion of innocence..;)

Aileen Dingus 11 years, 10 months ago

KsjKC- I'm with you there. I was stunned when I'd read about the drunken students at the dances. I'm from a small town, went to a fairly small high school (by today's standards at least) I don't believe anyone ever went to the dances drunk. It never even occured to us.

My husband, from a HUGE school, looks at me like I'm from Petticoat Junction and pats me on the head. :) Evidently it wasn't that rare an occurence where he went.

KsjKC 11 years, 10 months ago


I graduated LHS at a time when cars in the lot had the "I opened Johnny's" bumper stickers on them----An 18th birthday rite-of-passage to get the first beer out of the way before 1st hour....

Having had a drink at the dance was commonplace--from my experience being hammered was not...Although I remember some horror stories about the after-graduation party...

Being open-minded and being worried for my kids--these are not mutually-exclusive concepts...

Aileen Dingus 11 years, 10 months ago

"Being open-minded and being worried for my kids--these are not mutually-exclusive concepts..."

Exactly. I have a 14 yr old son. Yes I've told him about booze, heck- he's seen me drunk. He's also seen me the next day. (yuck) But I know he's going to drink underage. However, if a breathalyzer will make him think twice about it, I'm all for it!

Aileen Dingus 11 years, 10 months ago

Bob- that was it- nosy teachers. Nosy teachers, nosy parents, nosy cops... The folks on here who are up in arms about it not being the schools' responsibility are, in my opinion at least, wrong. It is EVERYONE'S responsibility to make sure the kids are safe.

tell_it_like_it_is 11 years, 10 months ago

Small town kid here. And me and my friends did worse then go to a dance drunk. We went to in school suspension just totally ripped one time! We knew we were going to be in the time out room all day that day so we set out in my truck before school and just got totally ripped! Now that was a day! What a hoot! And the funny part was our time out supervisor person was just clueless! Those were the days. Of course this was back in the early 80's before everyone got so bent out of shape so easily about everything.

Lowell Holmes 11 years, 10 months ago

The only way to make sure kids dont drink would be to lock them up 27/7. It doesnt matter how diligent parents, teachers and police are teanagers will find a way. The best that we as parents can hope for is that we have taught our children to make good decisions. However, if you dont practice what you preach your kids wont listen or believe a word you say. If you are often drunk in front of your kids what kind of message is that sending them?

whatdoyouthink 11 years, 10 months ago

I went to a small school, and we drank before and after the dances. I don't recall anybody getting out of hand.

Confrontation 11 years, 10 months ago

I agree with mightyquin. My mom never drank in front of me, and I couldn't imagine seeing her trashed! Thus, I never even touched alcohol in high school and I wasn't impressed by those who did. What type of example is this for a kid? Kids make enough stupid decisions on their own, they don't need parents showing them how to be careless drunks. I just hate seeing all these parents drinking around their kids in places like Tanner's, and then getting behind the wheel to drive home or acting like an idiot in a public place. People shouldn't be surprised these kids grow up to be drunks at school dances.

italianprincess 11 years, 10 months ago

I talked with my son about this this morning. I even asked him if has gone to the dances drunk. He told me no he hasn't ( hoping and praying here, hes a good kid but will go through the party phase ) but he knows of others who have.

I told him he better not even think about it. See he knows not the mess with what my little one says is " The Power Of The Mom ". My oldest knows already through many talks and reminders that he is 17 now and needs to make the right choice. I'm the mom that would tell the officer on the phone to let him stay there overnight to teach him a lesson. Basically don't mess with me because I can make your life a living @&%$. I have said before that my son is a good kid, but hes not perfect.

As far as testing the kids at the dances........test the ones who are acting as if they have been drinking. There the ones who mainly give themselves away anyway. There are kids doing so much more then drinking as some have already mentioned in here.

Kids are going to go through the party phase like some of us have, but to make everyone one of them take a test would steer them from not coming to a dance. They may feel that their being singled out when they were not drinking at all. Guilty or not, these kids are going to rebel. My son mentioned seeing a shortage of juniors and seniors at dances now if they start doing this. He basically said they will stop going to them.

Staci Dark Simpson 11 years, 10 months ago

I think breathalyzing before high school dances is a waste of time and money. I say just kick out the puking, obviously drunk kids. This isn't a new thing, in my small town high school it happened regularly. It is too hard to police everybody. You just have to teach your kids the best you can and hope they listen.
I know more adults that get s***faced and drive and act stupid than kids and we don't give them a breathalyzer every time they leave their house. Just think, what if they gave breathalyzer tests at Chiefs games, Catholic weddings or the bowling alley?

topflight 11 years, 10 months ago

Invasion of privacy, are you kidding me Leigh. We are talking about breathing into a small instrument, not getting you cell phone tapped, or having a wire tap place in their locker. And by the way, when they drink they are breaking the law. Some great administrative assistant you are.

BunE 11 years, 10 months ago

I think that Bill Clinton is the worst President ever.

I am in favor of Massive Debt, a trend toward theocracy, The loss of civil liberties, increased fear while I travel abroad, the deaths of thousands of soldiers and civilians, the loss of science and reason in schools, but most importantly, since no one ever thought about drinking in school until 2005, I am in favor of a giant scarlet A on the lapel of anyone suspected of drinking.

Also all men of arab lineage should be forced to wear a star and crescent (red). Lets fine anyone who says Bra on TV. Parents who do anything in front of their kids that the kids can't do legally should be shamed in public too.

Finally, I would like to be named "Final Arbiter", that way what I say goes.

nlf78 11 years, 10 months ago

I don't think they should have to go through one to get into the dance. If there are kids that are acting drunk or high, then they should be pulled aside and the chaperone can then use the testing equipement. Why alienate ALL the kids for only a few troublemakers?

Heck, I never went to a high school dance. I never went to junior high dances either. So I have no idea what people were doing 10 years ago at dances. I was spending all my time at parties outside of school. I did attend prom and I wasn't exactly sober but we had a limo and a good time. No one was puking on the dance floor that I saw...

Confrontation 11 years, 10 months ago

If the schools in Lawrence are like most of society, then the kids who are minorities and/or poor will be the ones targeted if the schools can pick and choose who they test. It needs to be all or nothing.

rhd99 11 years, 10 months ago

Give ME a damn break! The thing that offends me about this, is that some may think that all of us were a part of that crowd that did stupid things in high school. Of course all of us did some silly things, but one thing I NEVER did was touch ALCOHOL, especially when I was a student at LHS from 1992 till I graduated in 1995! So, people think I'm old fashioned, & you know what, I am! So, when people assume that I don't know anything about peer pressure, you don't know JACK! It was RAMPID in all my school years leading up to graduation 10 years ago!

Aiko 11 years, 10 months ago

I feel if you teach kid's that it is about "responsibility and knowing your limit" then we would be fine. Many parents today try to keep everything away from their kids in such a militant manner. Television, alcohol, sex etc.. to only make them abuse whatever it was they were told to stay away from.....*but they are your children so you parent anyway you see fit but when they are out of your house and control...look out.

rhd99 11 years, 10 months ago

Aiko, don't you worry one bit, my folks did ALL they could & succeeded in keeping me out of serious trouble during all my school years. You know something, 10 years after I graduated from LHS, I am now an uncle of two nephews. You don't think that the crap going on now is going to affect them or their generations down the road, you're in lala land. I know how rough it is. Let me put it to you this way, you remember the "just say no" campaign former first lady Nancy Reagan did in 1984, I started learning about the dangers of drugs when I was in 2nd grade! That's when the tide turned for the worst in lots of kids, because that was when the drug age REALLY took off.

rhd99 11 years, 10 months ago

By the way, WAY off the record, good news for all who despise the way FEMA handled the flood situation, its director has been axed from his job!

rhd99 11 years, 10 months ago

I am confident that the Admiral Bush chose can do a better job than a bureaucrat in assisting the Katrina victims & their families. Back to today's subject, Let's keep our schools safe. Our children deserve better, & they will get better, it's just going to take time. Drug testing in schools will always be a tricky issue, but where do you draw the line? Poltically correct or not, no one seems to have the right answers at this point.

raven 11 years, 10 months ago

I think it is ok to breathalize the kids coming into a high school dance. They are not only breaking the law I am sure there is a school code about not being intoxicated on school grounds. The old, "I did so they should be able to do it too" or "kids will be kids" attitude is probably not in the best interest of the children.

I never went to a dance drunk (thought I am from a small town) but I did drink. Doesn't mean I want my kids drinking underage.

Linda Aikins 11 years, 10 months ago

WOW - this was a bad day to actually get some work done! It won't happen again.

Anagram for "LIQUOR" LIQUOR

TOB is so right. The small towns were bad. I drank so much in high school that I don't even drink now. Many times my brother had to get me home and in bed before my parents woke up. We didn't drink at the dances, but went to the country and partied. And somehow were able to get up and function the next day as if nothing had happened.

Welcome Dazie! I'm so glad TOB and I "grew up" in small towns and are happy to have you join us in edjucatin' these city folks!

sunflower_sue 11 years, 10 months ago

TOB, You misread my post last night. I was defending OMB and said that WtW needed to be more like him. I back OMB 100%. Sorry to have maybe caused grief to either of you Bob's. OMB is my TX hero! WtW is a TX zero.

Manson 11 years, 10 months ago

" never went to a dance drunk (thought I am from a small town) but I did drink. Doesn't mean I want my kids drinking underage." -Raven

Hypocrate ! Plain and simple. How can you justify your stance when YOU did it yourself? The place is irrelevent. This whole "it's against the law" bs is just what it is BS. Last I checked it's not against the law to BE drunk or high. Caught with possession, selling, or trading gets you busted.

You all sit high upon your throne of hypocracy and spew this double standard of " well i did it under diffrent circumstances so that makes it ok". How the hell are kids supposed to learn under that example. If Ihad my way every man/boy the age of 18 gets the right to consume alcohol.

Jayhawk226 11 years, 10 months ago

Breathalyzer on the way in to the dance...

...condoms on the way out.

Safety first.

wichita_reader 11 years, 10 months ago

Kansas law states that " . . . no person under 21 years of age shall possess, consume, obtain, purchase or attempt to obtain or purchase alcoholic liquor or cereal malt beverage except as authorized by law." K.S.A. 41-727(a).

I think, it's BS, too, Manson. IMHO, any 18 year old should be able to drink whatever they want.

Linda Aikins 11 years, 10 months ago

As I recall, there was a throne involved, but I think I mostly prayed to the porcelain gods a lot. And I didn't sit on it, I sat beside it.

Drinking is nasty and evil and needs to be banned.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 10 months ago

As for today's ?: Yes, of course, make them take a breath test. Then we can check the guys' wallets for condoms, pass out EPT's and maybe administer PAP tests in the girls' bathroom. Why stop there? Let's draw blood and run all the tests. (to be read smacking of sarcasm)

Or maybe, if someone isn't able to stand upright and reeks of Mad Dog 20-20, we could just nicely ask them to leave? PLEEEEASE!

raven 11 years, 10 months ago

Manson: I never said when I did it, it was ok. It was not ok it was stupid and illegal. However, I can't change it now, can I? But, just because I did something illegal does not mean all people under 18 should be allowed to do something illegal, that was my point. I don't really have an opinion on the drinking age being 18. Probably should be, I don't know.

Shane Garrett 11 years, 10 months ago

I remember when: I was 21 I voted to raise the drinking age. I was 17 and had my first drunk and puked all night ( I have never drank schlitz beer since.) Summer of my junior year. Strawberry wine and a couple of cheerleaders. And a few times after that. They were nights of passion and rights of passage. I also grew up in a small town in Kansas. Learned ones limitations.

jshaw 11 years, 10 months ago

I went to all the functions drunk when I was in high school. Then I was date raped after I passed out one night. Thank God I didn't get pregnant.
If I had been tested at the door before a dance I probably would not have even gone. I would have just gone to the parties after.

bhanson 11 years, 10 months ago

What nobody seems to understand is that the school has no choice but to go to these lengths not just to protect the students, but also themselves. If some idiot kid is intoxicated at the dance and hurts him or herself or god forbid leaves the dance, drives and hurts someone else it is the school that will be held responsible for not doing enough to prevent kids from drinking. I have heard the argument that no one will attend the dances if they crack down on the drinking and then the kids will be in an even more dangerous environment without supervision. This argument has been made not only by students, but also by parents. My solution is simple; high schools should no longer sponsor school dances. Let parents who trust all students to make good decisions or believe that drinking is not that big of a deal sponsor the dance and be responsible for the behavior of a few hindered kids, some drunk, some not. It is sad that a few students who make bad decisions might ruin someone's night that is a little more responsible, but this is the litigious world in which we live.

kssleuth 11 years, 10 months ago

I think this is a great idea, and long over due. There are more drugs available here than in the ghettos of Kansas City. Parents turning a blind eye to the issue doesn't help matters much, and you can forget trying to be the responsible parent by trying to address the issue with them. You'll be an outcast for sure! This is yet another wake-up call Lawrence!!! What will it take to get parents to be more involved? More children dying? Maybe a call to SRS for neglect? Of course I could be wrong......I AM an outcast....with drug free kids!!!!!

Chris Bohling 11 years, 10 months ago


Unless they're getting drunk at the dance, what they're doing outside school events is none of the school's business, and the school should not be held responsible for it. If they're being unruly, yes, they should be taken out. But not before. What Weseman wants to do is make all students guilty until proven innocent.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 10 months ago

ksskeuth, I'm confused. You said that you can't discuss drugs with your kids or you will be an outcast. An outcast with whom? If you are an outcast with your kids, how do you know they are telling you the truth about being drug-free?

I say talk to your kids daily...about anything! I set aside time alone with each of my kids at bedtime where it is "they talk and I listen". This is also their opportunity to tell me anything with impunity and also to ask anything and get a straight answer.

I'm not going to kid myself that my kids will always be truthful, but it's my hope that they wouldn't be afraid to tell me.

I think setting up breathalyzers at school dances is just absurd. Why not just hang a sign from it that says "You are bad children and we don't trust blow!"

jonas 11 years, 10 months ago

kssleuth: I was wondering if you could support your statement that there are more drugs here than in the ghettos of kansas city. I think you're making that up.

bhanson 11 years, 10 months ago

Weseman and the Lawrence Schools are not saying that all kids are drinking or that they believe all kids are bad kids. They are trying to provide a safe alcohol free environment where students to enjoy themselves. I am a teacher although not in the Lawrence School District and the behavior at school sponsored dances is getting out of control and drinking is a major factor. If you have not been drinking, which is breaking the law, why is taking a breathalyzer a bad thing most kids will have nothing to worry about. The only students that have anything to worry about are the ones who have not been breaking the law. Quit babying them, arrest them and charge them all with MIP's, throw them in the paddy wagon and allow the kids that are doing things the right way to have a good time. I would like to add this. In the 15 years since I have graduated high school there has been a significant change in the way high school kids act. I was no angel and I see the way kids behave at school sponsored events with teacher and sometimes parent supervision and it scares me to think what is going on at other functions that do not have supervision. Parents wake up and understand that your kids act completely different when you are not around. Under age drinking is a problem and I applaud the Lawrence School District for doing something instead of standing idly by in a constant state of denial like many other adults in our community. Lastly I would like for all parents to stop by and see how our lovely children behave at there teenagers gone wild tryouts, or I'm sorry I mean school dances and then throw in your two sense worth about whether or not Weseman is handling this situation correctly

Shane Garrett 11 years, 10 months ago

bhanson has it most correct. Here in Texas parents have been holding private parties on private lands. So, a law was passed to hold parents responsible for any and all legal actions that could and would result from some one becoming injured as a result of drinking, or anything else,afterwards. Now, my parental friends make all children stay overnight. Like they don't have cars and come and go between curfew times. Teenagers will take risks. Why? Because they are not responsible adults.

So, where is the intelligent design for high school curriculum opinion page. I love it when Kansas news gets back page coverage here in Texas.

jonas 11 years, 10 months ago

BHanson: The problem is the difference between innocent until proven guilty and guilty until proven innocent. Our constitution has an amendment that discourages random search and seisure(sp?). Why should it be any less applicable towards kids?

Have you considered that maybe underage drinking has always been a problem? At least, if your definition of a problem is that it occurs, which I disagree with. Not that it occurs. . . that it occurring is, by itself, a problem.

bhanson 11 years, 10 months ago

Jonas: Underage drinking has been a problem for quite some time. The problem is how our society deals with and punishes offenders. When an issue arises, people now look to blame. For example if a student who is intoxicated injures another student at a school sponsored function people now look to place blame and the easy target is the school. They obviously have not done enough to prevent this kind of behavior at its dances. You must remember that as educators we can never tell a fragile 17 or 18 year old that they have made a poor choice because we could shatter their ever important self esteem, and parents aren't lining up to admit that they might not have done the best job of parenting and really have no idea how their kids might be behaving. Schools will be the scapegoat if anything really tragic ever happens. Parents allow their kids to go to school sponsored events because they expect the school to provide a safe and secure environment for kids to have a good time. I believe the Lawrence Schools are taking steps to ensure they provide this kind of environment. Something else that you must realize is that every child has a right to an education and our hands are often tied when dealing with issues that arise during the school day. After hours school activities are completely different. No student has the right to attend any of these activities it is a privilege. Schools can set whatever reasonable parameters that they wish to ensure the safety of the students in attendance. I agree with the point you make on illegal search and seizure, what a great rallying cry, please don't trample these kids' rights. I would much rather have them driving to school functions drunk and leave school functions drunk then to have them take a couple of minutes of their time the see if they are obeying the law and are in a physical state where they can conduct themselves in a reasonable manner.

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