Some Ardrey Kell parents want breathalyzer program at football games

by: Brittney Johnson, Paul Boyd Updated:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - School officials were forced to clear the Ardrey Kell High School student section during last week's football game because of inappropriate behavior, principal David Switzer said.

Switzer sent a message to parents explaining why school administrators had to take extreme action and remove students from the game.

In the message, Switzer listed several reasons, including that a significant number of students were allegedly intoxicated, high on drugs, spitting and throwing items at the band and shouting racial comments at other students.

Sources confirmed to Channel 9 that there will be an increase in security and supervision going forward.

There's also a movement by some parents to implement a breathalyzer program at football games.

“I'm for it,” Jennifer Tully said. “I mean, I want our kids to be safe. I don't think it's a bad idea at all. If they're underage, they shouldn't be drinking.”

 

 

An addiction expert Channel 9 anchor Paul Boyd spoke with said breathalyzers are a highly effective but inexpensive way to combat youth drinking.

A percentage of students arriving to a high school game at a facility would be required to blow into a breathalyzer and prove they haven't been drinking.

“High school students are going to be high school students, but there's a point where enough is enough,” said former student Jorge Bravo.

“It’s probably a good idea, but at the same time, I feel like kids are going to find a way around it,” said former student Bianca Garcia.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg School officials said they have no plans at this point to use breathalyzers, but said they do have a program in place to educate students about alcohol and drug use.

“I suspect it's a minority of the kids that are needing a breathalyzer, but I'm all for doing what it takes to get things back in order,” said parent Steve Cashdollar.

Last year, the  North Carolina High School Athletic Association rolled out new'rules for school sporting events, focusing mostly on the use of foul language.

Punishments range from game penalties to immediate ejection.

Senior Cameron Schmitt was at last week's football game.

 

"A lot of my friends don't know why anyone would do that," she said.

Her dad, Colin Schmitt, supports the principal's actions.

"I think he did the right thing; these kids need to have consequences to their silly actions," Colin Schmitt said.

Channel 9 asked if anyone would be disciplined; CMS officials would only say that students who break the rules will be disciplined according to the code of student conduct.

Colin Schmitt said students should be held accountable.

"It still reflects poorly on the school in general. I'm sure Switzer is going to take care of it," Colin Schmitt said.

The principal went on to say that Ardrey Kell is one of the top schools in North Carolina and that the students and community deserve better.

Switzer said he knows all students weren't involved, but he did ask parents to talk to their children and let them know that type of behavior won't be tolerated. 

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