Parents Upset After Alcohol Breath Tests Are Given at Maryland School Dance - NBC4 Washington

Parents Upset After Alcohol Breath Tests Are Given at Maryland School Dance

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Principal Defends Breathalyzer Tests at Homecoming

    News4's Chris Gordon talked to the principal of Bethesda Chevy Chase High School after several students were tested before the school event. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016)

    High school students suspected of showing up drunk to a homecoming dance in Montgomery County on Saturday had their blood alcohol level tested at the school -- and some parents aren't happy.

    A number of parents at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School are angry that their students were required to take a breath test, a viewer told News4.

    The principal confirmed that police officers performed the tests. A student said it appeared to him that students were not given the option of refusing the test.

    "Students walked in through the doors and if the police smelled anything or suspected any substance, they took you behind closed doors and Breathalyzed you," the student standing outside the school said.

    Principal Dr. Donna Jones said the three Montgomery County police officers hired for the event acted appropriately to control underage drinking.

    "I saw respectful interactions," she said.

    Ten students were taken into the school office on Saturday, police said. Citations were issued to four students.

    Jones questioned the students' behavior.

    "After everything that we've done to educate around the matter, I'm still not sure why any students would continue to make the choice to drink alcohol or to have a substance before a school event," she said.

    In June, Jones banned six students caught drinking from participating in the graduation ceremony. The acting school superintendent overruled her decision and allowed the students to walk with their classmates.

    A parent outside the school Tuesday said she liked Jones's approach to underage drinking.

    "She cares about the community and she wants to keep the kids safe. I care very much and I support her 100 percent," she said.

    Jones said she believes the majority of students and parents support her zero-tolerance policy for alcohol use at school events.