Online MIP Class Could Make Breathalyzer Issue Pointless

by: Mike Miller

Would you be offended if your child’s principal gave him a breathalyzer test at a school function? Some of you may regardless of the situation. I know I would have an issue with it with my 2nd grader!

How about at high school functions? Here is a real-life story about this issue.

A high school principal in northern British Columbia has been asked to stop using a breathalyzer to test students in school for alcohol use.

A youth said that she and a friend were suspended from Fort St. James Secondary School last week after a blood alcohol screening test showed traces of alcohol.

Civil rights activists call the incident extraordinary and disturbing, but the Ministry of Education has no policy on the use of breathalyzers in public schools.

Egregious or Nor – What Are Your Thoughts?

Kecia Alexis, a student in Grade 11, said she and the other student were suspended after principal Ken Young confronted them when they arrived at school late after lunch.

Both agreed reluctantly to take the test after being threatened with suspension. Ms. Alexis, who said she hadn’t been drinking, said the device gave two “error” readings before she blew the lowest reading, a blood alcohol level of 0.01. (For drivers, the “warn” range for a blood alcohol level is 0.05 to 0.08, while a “fail” is over 0.08.)

Ms. Alexis said she argued with the findings, “but he said he doesn’t talk to students who are drunk. I said, ‘I’m not drunk.’”

She was given a three-day suspension. Despite high drop-out rates, Ms. Alexis returned this week determined to finish her schooling. She said she wants to be a teacher.

Tim Erickson said his daughter Janene was also suspended and has been ordered to take drug and alcohol counseling even though the result was inconclusive.

He said he is angry that the school sent his daughter home while he was at work, 90 minutes away.

In my opinion the school committed a major boner - for them to let a 16 year old go home, assuming she is under the influence, is unacceptable.

Personally, I am all for using the breathalyzer randomly at school events, and non-randomly for students who appear under the influence. However, this is a case where administration went haywire and acted as if it were under the influence. What do you think?