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Alcohol In School: Using Breathalyzers at School Events

Teen drinking before and during high school football games is not a new problem. It happened when I was in high school and, no surprise, it happens today. However, now that I am the parent of two high school students, the problem seems both new and troublesome.

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Some teens have been attending the football games already drunk while others are sneaking alcohol into the games in water bottles and power drinks.

New Policy: Breathalyzer Test

As the mom, I am happy and grateful that our High School Administration decided to address the problem. They stepped in and created new rules for students at games that would prevent them from sneaking alcohol into the stadium. All students between 7th and 12th grade were required to enter the stadium through a separate entrance. The students were not allowed to bring in any food or beverages, and they could not bring in bags or purses of any kind.

And the best–but most controversial–change: If the school administration suspects that a student has been drinking, school personnel administer a breathalyzer test. If the test is negative, the student can go back to the game. But, if a student tests positive, the police are called immediately.

Improved Behavior

Since the implementation of the new rules, there is a noticeable change in behavior at games. Students still seem to be enjoying the sporting events, but there is an increase in school spirit. Once the sneaking and drinking were eliminated, the fans could focus on the game. And an important side benefit–kids who felt intimidated by the drinking now feel more comfortable at these school events.

I support these efforts by the school. I think adolescence is a tough time for kids and I support anything we can do as adults to help them make good decisions. This makes life easier for them…and for me.

Mindy Gallagher is the Social Media Manager for Your Teen Magazine. She is the assistant coach for the girls’ lacrosse team for Solon High School in Ohio.

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