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(Mercury News)   Breathalyzers becoming prevalent in American high schools   ( mercurynews.com) divider line
    More: Scary  
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7805 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Jan 2005 at 12:57 PM (12 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2005-01-09 12:11:08 PM  
It's about time. I, for one, am sick of high school kids with bad breath.

What? That's what they check for, right?
 
2005-01-09 12:23:06 PM  
i have no problem with this.
 
2005-01-09 12:53:44 PM  
yay for zero tolerance!

Oh, wait...

With drinking widespread among U.S. teens, breathalyzers are just one of many tools educators are employing to fight back. And because the machines are now extremely affordable -- they're available on the Internet for as little as $50 -- their use on high school campuses is spreading.

YO! Government types! Something new to tax! Get to it ya jackals. Tax something I hate out of existence for once, would you?
 
2005-01-09 12:58:37 PM  
Slowly but surely, our society gradually changes into a herd of docile, well-supervised sheep.
 
2005-01-09 01:01:25 PM  
Slowly but surely, our society gradually changes into a herd of docile, well-supervised sheep.


What I've never really been able to understand is that we tell kids that drinking and dope are bad for them BUT anything any doctor gives them is always good. Hell, there's no reason to risk a drug possession charge any more - just tell your doc your depressed and can't concentrate on your homework. He'll hook you up with some powerful stuff that'll get you buzzed better than anything you get off the street. Not only will it be a legal high, it'll be covered by your parents perscription drug plan.
 
2005-01-09 01:01:27 PM  
I yearn for the good old days when the teachers' breath used to knock us out. Then afew of us would leave school and have our own liquid lunch. ;)
 
2005-01-09 01:03:21 PM  

And how is a breathalyzer test gonna catch the kids who do pot ?


Just saw 'Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle' movie today. Funniest movie I've seen in a long time, even though it does have the stupid title of mentioning WC in it.


"Oh you biatch, you sank my BattleShiats !"

 
2005-01-09 01:03:41 PM  
the breathalizer should check for semen on the cheerleaders breath. Now that would be funny.
 
2005-01-09 01:04:18 PM  
Weaver, true dat.
 
2005-01-09 01:05:31 PM  
'Land of the free', huh...

So when did the USofA jump the shark?
 
2005-01-09 01:07:57 PM  
They had one in my high school nine years ago. Of course it was a private high school.
 
2005-01-09 01:07:59 PM  
Next the beer companies will be sued because beer is found attractive to teenagers--a study will be done to prove this point and we will see a 1.2 trillion dollar lawsuit.

Personally, where I live, drinking under age is a serious offense--usually a $200 fine and 50-200 hours of community service. I think while the students are suspended, they are doing grounds work for the school; especially after school dances.
 
2005-01-09 01:08:04 PM  
Stupid zero tolerance. I was suspended in high school after I blew less than .001
 
2005-01-09 01:08:49 PM  
It's degrading enough to think that we can't even have the trust we worked to build among our own people anymore. But that sort of a fault can be put on both sides. I think another Farker said it best in a different thread: politicians no matter what their cause just want to add more to the heap of laws and regulations-- they think they're helping. I just feel suffocated.
 
2005-01-09 01:10:24 PM  
If someone's acting up, throw them out. No invasive search required. If they're buying those worthless $50 units, they have no idea what they're doing anyway.
 
2005-01-09 01:12:31 PM  
The 4th Amendment surrenders.
 
2005-01-09 01:13:20 PM  
the breathalizers are to catch the kids who drank the jesus juice. Or to catch the drunk guidance councelors like they were when I was in high school.
 
2005-01-09 01:13:29 PM  
It's degrading enough to think that we can't even have the trust we worked to build among our own people anymore.

Yeah, but there's no one reason why we've gotten to this point. Lack of parental responsiblity, some pretty farked double standards on what consitutes 'drug use', trigger happy trial lawyers looking for a big score of local deep pockets, gun shy (literally!) and lazy school administrators relying on stupid zero tolerance policies - take your pick. Any or all could apply and all have played their part in screwing up what it means to be a kid these days.
 
2005-01-09 01:15:05 PM  
Piedmont High School in the East Bay tests every student who walks through the door at a school dance.

I bet the parents and school officials that approve of this sort of invasion of privacy were guilty of the same exact behavior when they were teens.

To bypass potential legal challenges and community concerns about students' civil rights, Gunn -- like most area campuses -- tests students only if there's reason to suspect they've been drinking.

That seems awfully open ended. So what would be considered probable cause? "He's acting a little funny, get the breathalyzer!" What's next, blood tests?
 
2005-01-09 01:15:07 PM  
Back in the day, we used to just toss the troublemakers into daytime warehouses we laughingly called "continuation schools", and let the kids who wanted to learn do so unimpeded. You could get rid of most of these "security" measures at regular schools if we'd go back to that model: come to school drunk, stoned, armed, get your ass transferred to the human parking lot until you're 18 and we no longer have to pretend to educate you.
 
2005-01-09 01:15:15 PM  
One night in college, I was at a party where they had one of those $50 breathalyzers, about 6 people were having a competition where every half hour they'd do a check... they even had a chalkboard they used as the "Leaderboard," at 3AM the highest BAC won.

//save the excessive drinking for college, kids, it's more fun when you don't have to hide it from your parents
 
2005-01-09 01:15:47 PM  
good
 
2005-01-09 01:16:38 PM  
You just know that the high school kids will use these for bets on who can blow the highest BAC.
 
2005-01-09 01:19:34 PM  
got a password? or the text?

friggin registrations....
 
2005-01-09 01:20:18 PM  
To bypass potential legal challenges and community concerns about students' civil rights, Gunn -- like most area campuses -- tests students only if there's reason to suspect they've been drinking.

Pretty sad day when our schools conspire on how to violate civil rights...with out actually violating them.
 
2005-01-09 01:20:39 PM  
So what would be considered probable cause? "He's acting a little funny, get the breathalyzer!" What's next, blood tests?


Once, on a lark, I proposed at a school board meeting that we apply the same drug/liquor testing standards used on kids to teachers and members of the school administration. I got a momentary look of sheer, stark terror out of the guys on the stage and they voted my proposal down with a nervous giggle. After that I never seemed to get any meeting notices.
 
2005-01-09 01:21:05 PM  
Of course I would love to sign up for an account!
 
2005-01-09 01:21:30 PM  
Yet another reason not to go to the social dances. I hated social events run by the school.

/Only went to prom to take pictures for the student paper
 
2005-01-09 01:22:16 PM  
skinink: And how is a breathalyzer test gonna catch the kids who do pot ?

apparently schools are doing random urinalysis testing also.
 
2005-01-09 01:27:19 PM  
Weaver95

Anything you care to recommend?
 
2005-01-09 01:28:45 PM  
Weaver
Once, on a lark, I proposed at a school board meeting that we apply the same drug/liquor testing standards used on kids to teachers and members of the school administration. I got a momentary look of sheer, stark terror out of the guys on the stage and they voted my proposal down with a nervous giggle. After that I never seemed to get any meeting notices.

At least you had a good idea. School systems are the most Farked beauracracies around the nation. I don't see why they can't be publicly controlled rather than by the government. If the people ran the schools they'd probably be a lot better off, I've got an encyclopedia's worth of stupid things the governments have done to schools and that's just one school district.
 
2005-01-09 01:29:07 PM  
Funny how America is just about the only nation in the world that thinks people are grown ups at the age of 21. Yet, I can go kill as many middle eastern men as i want at the age of 18 as long as I sign over my soul to the military. But I cannot buy a handgun or drink, but I can buy assault rifles out the arse. I think America needs to take a lesson from every other country in the world and expose teenagers to alcohol at a much younger age so that they can become more responsible about. That said, America just needs to quit being the prudes that they are and lighten up a bit.
 
2005-01-09 01:32:22 PM  
My teachers were drunk and stoned at the dances.

/Canada
//true
 
2005-01-09 01:35:42 PM  
Usually I side with the libertarians on issues like this, but as long as the machines are used sensibly I have no problem with it. Underage drinking may be ubiquitous, but it's illegal for good reason. Many see this as a civil rights issue, but I see it as a pragmatic response to something that is surely rampant at some high schools. Risk management. The concept of student/teacher trust and respect is a myth. The two sides have never respected each other. If students can't be honest and law-abiding they haven't earned it anyway.
 
2005-01-09 01:39:08 PM  
Anything you care to recommend?

Nothing that isn't already common sense: attend local school board meetings, pay attention to the track records of local school administrators. Find out who's the local teachers' Union rep and where they stand on things. If they're doing something you don't like, take note of it and get word out to the parents in your local district.

BTW - voter registration records for your area are public information. There's probably a small fee to get a copy of the list, but it'll have all the names/addresses you'll need to set up a mail list. I'd suggest setting up a web site on your viewpoint (with an attached discussion area a la fark discussion threads) and sending a single mass mailing directing people to your site.
 
2005-01-09 01:39:21 PM  
Now we don't discuss it with them. We just breathalyze them immediately.

Normal high school administrator mentality
 
2005-01-09 01:40:28 PM  
DelayedReactionMan:

The 4th Amendment surrenders.

The 1st Amendment surrenders...

...cause I like to hold public demonstrations... involving dance, and alcohol, in high school cafeterias.
 
2005-01-09 01:46:59 PM  
I love it when trolls try to start an argument, and no one bites. hehehehehehe!

I'm sorry that high schools feel they have to do this, but I can remember what we used to do in High school, so I'll leave it at that.
 
2005-01-09 01:47:00 PM  
And how is a breathalyzer test gonna catch the kids who do pot ?

I'm not saying pot should be allowed, but alcohol bingeing/abuse is much, much worse than pot bingeing/abuse.
 
2005-01-09 01:47:08 PM  
At my hometown's prom, the principal was standing guard at the entrance with policemen, breathalizing everyone who entered. Lowest. Turnout. Ever. They also had police dogs routinely do locker searches.

The problem with situations like this is that, while having a breathalizer on hand may sound like a good thing for use during emergencies (I went to a private high school with one and it was only used once, albeit to kick a senior girl out two goddamn weeks before graduation), an overzealous administration can quickly go from using it to protect students to using it to police them. fark that.
 
2005-01-09 01:54:49 PM  
Someone please post the article text into the thread. Registration sucks my balls.
 
2005-01-09 01:57:37 PM  
If fascism is in our future, at least our kids won't be totally unprepared for it.
 
2005-01-09 01:58:37 PM  
The article in question, for those who asked nicely:

Schools turn to breathalyzers

By Maya Suryaraman

Mercury News


Thought breathalyzers were just for cops? Guess again.

Increasingly, high schools across the country -- including ones in Los Gatos, Saratoga, Santa Clara and Palo Alto -- are deploying the devices at school dances and other campus events.

With drinking widespread among U.S. teens, breathalyzers are just one of many tools educators are employing to fight back. And because the machines are now extremely affordable -- they're available on the Internet for as little as $50 -- their use on high school campuses is spreading.

``The technology just gets cheaper and cheaper,'' said Michael Barnes, a trustee of the East Bay's Albany Unified School District, which three years ago introduced breathalyzers at Albany High School. ``It's always tempting to substitute technological monitoring for human monitoring.''

Statistics on the total number of campuses using breathalyzers are hard to come by. But just one vendor, St. Louis-based Intoximeters, reports sales of about 2,000 units to high school campuses nationwide.

School officials say they've turned to breathalyzers to curb periodic alcohol-related problems at campus events, from students vomiting or passing out, to teens becoming contentious when confronted with their drunken behavior.

``Students would show up drunk at the dance,'' said Nikolai Kaestner, student activities director at Palo Alto's Gunn High School. ``It would take an hour before the kid would admit to it. Now we don't discuss it with them. We just breathalyze them immediately.''

Gunn began using the devices at dances last school year. To bypass potential legal challenges and community concerns about students' civil rights, Gunn -- like most area campuses -- tests students only if there's reason to suspect they've been drinking. The penalty for a positive result is a five-day suspension, which is reduced to three days if the student agrees to attend counseling provided by the school.

Anna Tong, a senior at Gunn, is not convinced her school's approach is effective.

``They just breathalyze you if you're acting disorderly,'' Tong said. ``People still manage to bring alcohol into dances.''

Critics also argue that breathalyzers might encourage students to turn to other drugs that aren't monitored, and that it does nothing to prevent student drinking off-campus, such as at after-dance parties.

But Kaestner said testing has made a difference at Gunn.

``We've had dances in the past where eight or 10 kids were suspended,'' Kaestner said. ``Now we may have one kid.''

Unlike Gunn, Piedmont High School in the East Bay tests every student who walks through the door at a school dance.

``We felt it would be more of a deterrent if all kids were tested,'' said Pam Bradford, principal at Piedmont.

Bradford said it takes six to eight teachers about an hour to test all the students entering a dance, but that it has changed the character of the events.

For the past five years, Wilcox High School in Santa Clara has used breathalyzers on a suspicion-only basis at school dances, as well as at such events as senior picnics and grad nights -- and even during the school day.

``Most of the time if we get a positive, it's here at school during the day,'' said Craig Williams, a vice principal at Wilcox.

Most schools just use the devices for their own disciplinary purposes.

The courts don't consider the breath-testing devices used by campuses as accurate enough to be introduced as evidence in court, said Capt. John Hirokawa of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department. But this is not a problem for educators, who are generally looking for signs of any alcohol use, rather than to establish a specific level.

Teen drinking is down from the 1970s, but educators and public health experts are concerned that it's still widespread. The federally sponsored Monitoring the Future Survey for 2003 found that nearly 50 percent of high school seniors admitted drinking in the month before they were surveyed.

``I don't think it's a moot issue by any means,'' said Bonnie Halpern-Fisher, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California-San Francisco.

Teens acknowledge that they drink for much the same reason as adults.

``They just drink to have a good time,'' said Maxine Tuan, a senior at Saratoga High School.

Halpern-Fisher said breathalyzer testing probably acts as a deterrent, but needs to be backed up with other approaches.

``It's certainly not as good as prevention and education'' and treatment programs, Halpern-Fisher said.
 
2005-01-09 02:23:50 PM  
Ha. A few weeks ago at a school dance they got out the breathalyzer. About 2/3rds of the student government got suspended as a result.

Funny stuff.
 
2005-01-09 02:40:15 PM  
I don't have a problem with the idea. My problem is the havoc that a cheap --- and possibly inaccurate --- breathalyzer could cause.

If I'm a high school senior, get breathalyzed, fail (wrongly), get a five-day suspension, get that suspension noted on my "school record", then later get rejected by the academically-upscale college I wanted to go to.

No redress. No lawyer. No judge but the principal?
 
2005-01-09 02:55:11 PM  
Arnold T Pants
Stupid zero tolerance. I was suspended in high school after I blew less than .001

I'm pretty sure that there is no device on the market than detects in the .001 range.. did you mean .01? And I'm absolutely sure you could fight that and win, as anything from cologne, cigarattes, breath freshener, toothpaste, etc, will all make the device register above .01

I'm not in the arguing mood today, so I'll stop my post here.
 
2005-01-09 04:24:11 PM  
I would NEVER submit to one of those in a school. It's time to start smashing high school principals upside the head.
 
2005-01-09 04:41:47 PM  
When I went to highschool at the beggining there was no police.

then there was police dance attendance droped.

Then there where dogs droped even more.

then they searched everyone... 50 people showed up the student councial lost tons of money on it and could'nt hold annouther dance again while I was there. (other then prom and a winter diner/dance)

To all high school kids on this board, live your life the way you want to, know your limets, and avoid school functions for your social activitys. You'll have differnt stories then the rest of the sheep and you'll have better experiances.
 
2005-01-09 05:00:18 PM  
but....

liquor good.
 
2005-01-09 06:05:15 PM  
Being hungover is an acceptable excuse for getting out of gym class. It's also a valid absence excuse because mom says so. Kids don't get carded buying Nyquil.
 
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