Sobriety tests in school

At a few high schools, officials use breathalyzers during the school day to test students they suspect of drinking. The New York Times reports:

Schools say they need to ensure that no students are drinking in class. Civil rights lawyers worry that high school students pulled out of class and forced to take a breath-alcohol test could be unfairly stigmatized for goofy or strange behavior.

It does seem Orwellian. Shouldn’t the behavior be the issue?

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  1. Walter E. Wallis says:

    I have always felt it was a mistake to put so much credence in chemical tests of drivers when the problem is diminished capacity to perform. Trained observation must remain the primary indice, with chemical only as backup.

  2. Miller Smith says:

    From the story,”Any student suspected of being drunk…” Acting drunk or smelling of alcohol would be the “behavior” that gets the test.

  3. Miller, that would be true if you could count on administrators exhibiting common sense. However, I hear of a five-year old with a bag of clover leaves and dirt being handled as a drug offense. In my experience, it’s rather harder to identify drunken behavior than to tell clover from marijuana.