CHATHAM, N.J.(CBSNewYork) — A controversial new test may soon be given to students at a New Jersey high school.
As CBS2’s Elise Finch reported, administrators hope that breathalyzer tests will deter students from drinking before school sponsored events.READ MORE: Third Former Aide Accuses Gov. Andrew Cuomo Of Inappropriate Behavior
Students will soon have to prove they’re not under the influence of alcohol if they want to attend school dances and sporting events.
“We’ve had incidents in which students have arrived at school sponsored events intoxicated and in some instances we’ve needed to call emergency personnel to assist the students,” Dr. Michael LaSusa, Superintendent, School District of the Chathams.
The most recent incident happened just last week at a playoff football game.
On Monday night, the Chatham Board of Education voted to update a policy that authorizes the use of breathalyzers at dances, athletic events, class trips, and even assemblies.
Under the old version every student would be breath tested. The update changes it to random testing.
“We would pick those students out of the line and administer the test. If it was positive we would notify the parent and send the student out for professional testing at the clinic or emergency room,” Principal Darren Groh, Chatham High School, said.
The policy has been on the books since 2008, but was never enforced. The district still doesn’t own any breathalyzer machines.READ MORE: Long Island Rail Road Service Cuts To Take Effect Monday
Parents said it’s time to get them.
“I would hope that these kids would use some common sense and not be drinking, but unfortunately they do, so when they do they should get caught,” Elia Sheldon said.
“If the staff and administrators think something is going on, I think a breathalyzer would be great,” Jerrilyn Lepore said.
Students had mixed opinions about the newly revised policy.
“It’s not a bad idea, but I would just breathalyze people who are stumbling, because that’s happened before,” Emily Buckman said.
Like it or not, it’s about to become the new norm.
A letter is going out to parents of all high school students explaining in detail how breath testing will work.
The earliest that breath testing could start is the first quarter of next year, but it could start as late as next fall.MORE NEWS: 10-Year-Old Boy Found Dead In Harlem, Police Investigating