The Elmbrook School Board voted, 6-1, Tuesday to establish a Breathalyzer policy that calls for providing training and alcohol screening devices to high school principals and authorized staff members.
The policy states that a Breathalyzer screening may be conducted if there is reasonable suspicion that a student has arrived at school or a school-sponsored event under the influence of alcohol.
A positive result is considered to be any amount of alcohol that is not absolute sobriety. Students who test positive would be sent home in the custody of their parent or guardian.
"Any student under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances will be referred to the police," Superintendent Mark Hansen said afterward. "It's a safety issue we take very seriously."
Responding to a question, Assistant Superintendent Dana Monogue said that "if we need to include middle schools, we certainly will."
Board President Tom Gehl said the policy is intended to "ensure the kind of environment the vast majority of our students want to have at events."
Some board members who voted for the policy admitted to misgivings.
"There is concern we're going to turn our students into a bunch of criminals," Dick Brunner said. But Kathryn Wilson cast the only "no" vote.
"I recognize there is a substance abuse problem in our community," Wilson said. But she concluded that "I'm not comfortable with blurring the line" between the school system and law enforcement.
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