Changes in Breathalyzer policy require Breathalyzers on all field trips

Students at prom take Breathalyzer tests prior to the event, which was held May 3. The tests are taken as precaution during Homecoming and prom. ALEX YOM / PHOTO

Students at prom take Breathalyzer tests prior to the event, which was held May 3. The tests are taken as precaution during Homecoming and prom. ALEX YOM / PHOTO

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CHS’s Breathalyzer policy now requires faculty members to take portable breath alcohol testers on every field trip regardless of how big or how small it is, according to Principal John Williams.

“All it is is a new tool to help implement a policy, and our policy has been that when staff members take students on a field trip whether it’s overnight or to a museum or whatever it might be, that we are responsible of watching them,” Williams said.

GraphicBreathpolicyWilliams said in previous years, the school has struggled with monitoring drinking in a large group of kids due to the lack of equipment.

Soo Han, director of orchestras and department chair for the performing arts department, said the school’s responsibility is to make sure that students are adhering to all the student behavior expectations. He said this new tool should help the teachers and administration do just that.

Han said, “If I’m suspicious, I’m going to take care of that, and I get immediate results. But if my suspicions aren’t triggered and I want to adhere to this policy effectively, I think doing it randomly and doing it unannounced is the best way to go about it.”

Williams said while teachers were given this new tool, they were not given specific regulations or requirements. He said the choice to test students depends on the size of the group, which is why the administration has allowed teachers to decide how they would like to utilize this tool.

Both Williams and Han said if students are following the rules, then it should not matter. Williams said it should serve as a deterrent and provide students with an environment where they are encouraged by the structure and rules to make good choices.

“It shouldn’t affect (students) at all. For teachers, we see it as a comfort thing because it gives them more accuracy on any investigation. For students, I think it sets the environment for making good choices,” Williams said.

Students at prom take Breathalyzer tests prior to the event, which was held May 3. The tests are taken as precaution during Homecoming and prom. ALEX YOM / PHOTO
Students at prom take Breathalyzer tests prior to the event, which was held May 3. The tests are taken as precaution during Homecoming and prom. ALEX YOM / PHOTO

Junior Amanda Warnock said she thinks the policy is not necessary, but it is a good idea, and there is nothing wrong with making sure students are not drinking on field trips.

“I’d like to think it won’t have any effect because I’d like to think students don’t drink on school field trips, but I think if students are aware of this, it could cut back on drinking,” Warnock said. 

Han said as long as teachers are respectful and do not profile students for whatever reason and if teachers and administration are fair about how this policy is carried out, there should be no problem.

Warnock said, “It depends on what criteria they use to breathalyze someone whether it’s if someone is acting drunk or if they just look suspicious. There is a difference in that. It needs to be fair.”

Han said this really should not affect any future field trips, including the one the orchestras are taking to Europe during the spring break of 2015.

Overall, Warnock and Han said this is a step in the right direction in the prevention of drinking. Williams said the underlying message in this is to just make good choices.

“To me, it’s a no-brainer,” said Williams. “When we decided to do this it was like ‘why haven’t we been doing this for a long time?’ So it’s not why are we doing this now, it’s why haven’t we been doing this before.” 


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