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Tiverton Students Could Face Breathalyzer At School Events

A new policy being considered by the Tiverton School Committee would require students displaying signs of intoxication to submit to a breathalyzer test at school events.

The Tiverton School Committee is considering a policy that would require students to submit to a breathalyzer test if suspected of consuming alcohol at school events.

The proposed policy, which will be voted on at the committee's Sept. 25 meeting according to Chairwoman Sally A. Black, would only be administered to students suspected of drinking alcohol. Under the policy, the test would be done in private - in either the principal's or vice principal's office.

"This is about common sense and not just to be punitive," said Black in an interview about the policy's goal. "It is all about prevention and support because with the students and children we are supposed to help them through these things."

Just like adults, students would have a right of refusal against the breathalyzer, but according to the policy, which was proposed by the Tiverton Prevention Coalition, results would become part of students' educational records and not be reported to police.

Black said the committee had not discussed disciplinary actions for either refusing or failing the breathalyzer and stressed the policy's goal of maintaining the safety of students.

"We have not discussed disciplinary actions although of course we would contact the parents because we wouldn't want anyone to be unsafe," she said.

A similar policies exist at schools in , , Westport, Fall River and Somerset.

The Sept. 25 reading will be the proposed policy's third reading before the School Committee and Black invited parents and students to attend and provide input. The committee began drafting the policy in March.

 

"We wanted to give parents a lot of time for the input and recommendations by the Tiverton Prevention Coalition to go over every word and make sure this is fair to everyone," said Black.

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