Alcohol and dances not a good mix
Veritas News Editor
Several students were caught drinking at this year’s Homecoming Dance. These behaviors disappointed faculty members and students of Rockland High. RHS Principal, Dr. Alan Cron and the administration are now left to figure out what to do to prevent this from happening again.
“It damaged the climate of the school,” said Dr. Cron. He is disappointed not only at the people who committed the acts, but at how poorly the acts reflect on all of the students, not just a select few.
“You don’t need alcohol to have fun,” said senior Gabbi derKinderen. She attended the dance and is upset about how a small number of people ruined it for the rest of the students.
Leah Benson, a senior who attended the dance, said, “The only way to completely stop it is breathalyze before and after, which is absolutely absurd to even be an option.”
Cron has mixed emotions about breathalyzers at the doors of the school prior to dances. Although he has used them at his previous school, Milton High, and they have shown positive results in the decrease of drinking at dances, he still feels they aren’t the only option out there to prevent drinking.
While all students do not drink, to breathalyze every student is basically questioning whether or not they are drunk. Cron admits that it’s an accusation even if they haven’t done it.
“I always felt bad breathalyzing the junior and his or her date from another school. Making them take a breathalyzer felt like they have done something wrong before they even walked through the door,” Cron said.
Students may not realize the severity of the consequences of their actions. The penalties, however, can be found in the high school’s student handbook. Neighboring towns have similar consequences as Rockland and a few of them use breathalyzers at the door.
Weymouth High School’s student handbook states: “Possession, use, sale or distribution of tobacco, drugs or alcohol in the school building, on school grounds, or at school sponsored activities is prohibited by state law. Violators of this policy are liable to the appropriate penalties, which may include exclusion and/or expulsion.”
Hanover High School has cut down on the chances for students to show up drunk to dances. Only students who attend Hanover High are allowed admittance into their dances. The Hanover High School handbook states: “All students attending a Hanover High School dance will be subject to a breathalyzer test as a condition of admittance to the dance. Students who are found to have consumed alcohol will be sent home with the parents/guardians (or appropriate authorities if parents/guardians are not available).”
Although the student handbook at Bridgewater Raynham Regional doesn’t include the use of breathalyzers, it does state that “parents of those students who attend school-sponsored dances or extra-curricular activities under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be notified to provide transportation. All violators will be given up to an 8-day suspension from school.”
In reality, RHS could breathalyze students, yet that still may not stop the students from drinking.
Since Homecoming, Dr. Cron, the faculty and administration have looked into how they can prevent what happened at the dance. Cron thinks that there should just be more faculty attending the dances as supervisors. Mrs. Susan Patton was the only official faculty supervisor at the dance.
With the new regulations for school dances, Cron is confident an act like this will not be repeated inside the doors of Rockland High.
“A number of changes have been made and what happened at Homecoming will never happen again,” said Cron.