Random alcohol tests at football games stir opinions

Principal Michael Short looks over the Perrysburg High School student sections during the Central Catholic game.
Principal Michael Short looks over the Perrysburg High School student sections during the Central Catholic game.

By Andrew Atkins

The administration of Perrysburg High School started to breathalyze students at the first home football game of the year against Central Catholic. That game happened without any major incidents yet many students and members of community still feel uneasy about the test.

Students started to lay blame of the events at the away Clay football game as well.

“It’s unfair to students,” said senior Griff Janssens. “It’s unfair to people that don’t drink and makes the school look bad.”

That has been a general consensus among many students asked that breathalyzing is infringing on students rights and also bad for the school image.

“We are only trying to protect students by giving them another tool to say no to alcohol use,” Principal Michael Short said. Dr. Short added a Supreme Court case stating that the school was well within its legal rights to give students breath tests.

“Alcohol use is illegal for all students at Perrysburg High School and it will not be tolerated,” he said.

Another major concern among students is if the tests administered will be purely random. Sophomore Tori Slomka didn’t think it would be fair,  and that “certain students will be targeted.”

The breathalyzing at the football game is truly random and students should not feel worried about its legitimacy. Dr. Short clarified by explaining the students will take a chip out of a bag and if the certain color would to be drawn, then they would be tested. Yet, if a student would to show sign of use of a substance they would be subject to the breath test anytime during the game.

The notion that the breathalyzing was put into place because of a incident at the Clay football game is completely false. The administration had the idea for a few years and were moved by the Ohio governor’s speech last school year on underage substance abuse. The school has also been randomly breathalyzing students before dances for three years. Laying blame on that football game is unfair to those involved.

“Incidents like these happen once or twice every school year,” Dr. Short said.

Three school districts have also reached out to Perrysburg for help with implementing breathalyzing at their own home games. The administration wants to protect its students, the sole purpose of the breathalyzing.

“It’s not a perfect world, we are not going to be able to prevent drinking entirely,” Dr. Short said. “Yet I hope this gives the students another tool to say no.”





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