School's Alcohol Detection Policy Goes to Vote Tuesday

Board of Education will vote to approve or reject policy during Tuesday's meeting at 8 p.m.

Board of Education is set to vote on the proposed alcohol detection policy Tuesday night during the regular meeting. The policy was introduced by Superintendent Edward Ehmann during the April 24 board meeting.

The policy states that "any student for whom there is a reasonable suspicion of the use of alcohol before or during the school day, prior to or during an extra-curricular, interscholastic, or other school-related function, whether condusted on or away from school property, may be required to submit to a breathalyzer test."

Policy 5290 also states that the district does not intended to conduct random student testing. If implimented the policy would be geared towards deterring students from using alcohol while at school or school functions.

Click here to see the full proposed policy. 

Should the board approve the policy? Let us know in our poll.

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smithtownmom May 22, 2012 at 08:45 PM
I'd like to comment on 2 items...first, the NATIONAL rankings of our high schools out of 22,000 schools surveryed were: SHS West (382) & SHS East (585) with West earning the Gold Medal standard nationally. Locally in NY State, West ranked (54) & East (76) out of 1,165 schools surveyed. Not sure how these rankings translate to "bottom of the barrel". Secondly, last time I checked, the drinking age in our state is 21 & illegal drugs are still illegal & consuming / obtaining prescripton narcotics for recreational use is also illegal. If ANY student is consuming alchohol/drugs, they are engaging in illegal activity. In this day & age, with all the driving accidents we read about all too often, to have anything other than a zero tolerance policy on student drinking is mind boggling. Of course, as adults, we know our children are going to experiment but do we have to make it so easy for them. Why should there NOT be consequences in place to deter them from making bad choices. Lets start showing our kids that as a community we are invested in their future. Lets help our youth develop good citizenship. Lets show them we are not punishing them but rather want them to succeed thereby setting boundaries. They can make a choice NOT to drink & therefore this discussion of whether they would be subjected to a breathalyzer test would be a moot point. It really is THEIR choice!! ....since this is not a random test.....
Ken Heard May 22, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Did not 4 Long high schools finish in the top 100 NATIONWIDE, including Commack High at 95th . At a cost of $20,000 per capita per student per year, the least the district should do is query these four top rated Long Island schools and learn from them. . Stop with the "spin city" routine, highlighting East and West's rank among New York State schools. Once again, at $20,000 per capita per student both East and West should be in the Top 10 statewide. A ranking of 54th and 76th for West and East respectively doesn't make the grade. With the help of the 4 Long Island districts that finished in the top 100 NATIONWIDE, the district should set a goal to be in the Top 100 NATIONWIDE WITHIN THE NEXT 5 YEARS. Now that is something everybody can rally around.
smithtownmom May 22, 2012 at 10:53 PM
I agree, set a goal to be in the Top 100....Commack is definitely doing something right? In the meantime, bashing the current accomplishments of the school district is NOT motivating to the students/teacher/community! Ken - your earlier post stated "Breathalyzers could very well punish children who test very low on the breathalyzer scale. On the flip side, it the school tests a student who shows a low blood-alcohol ratio (neither impaired or intoxicated) and allows him to drive, what is the school's responsibility if the student gets into a serious accident.?" wouldn't the fact that ANY ratio which indicates alchohol was consumed be a violation of the law for any person under the age of 21? why would the student then be allowed to drive? This whole proposal, if approved, will hopefully give students "food for thought" before making a bad choice. They are, however, free to make that choice but must then be willing to accept the consequences.
Ken Heard May 22, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Smihtown Mom: Rigid prohibition transforms alcohol into the Forbidden Fruit. Strict prohibition against any consumption of alcohol prior to age 21 makes makes it all that more desirable. As already noted, children in Europe drink wine with their parents at dinner. A little wine every now and then with dinner takes the aura away from alcohol. and leads children to covet it less. With regards to breathalyzers, leave this device with the police. There are just too mny legal problems that might haunt the district. Finally, I have not heard a single voice on the BOE backing what both you and I feel is a good idea -set a 5 year goal to be in the top 100 nationwide. Such a goal could be a unifying factor in the community and motivate teachers, students and parents alike. I did not bash the district when I criticized their spin city strategy. I just stated what I saw.
scsddad May 23, 2012 at 07:13 PM
With the breathalyzer test can you get a false positive. If you can what is the districts liability. Can the district be sued for embarrassing the student.


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