Chatham school district approves random alcohol test for students

The Chatham school district has approved random alcohol testing for students at school events.

The Chatham school district has approved random alcohol testing for students at school events. (12/10/15)

CHATHAM - A Morris County school district has approved a policy that allows students to be randomly tested for alcohol at school events.

Chatham school officials say the district previously had a policy allowing every student who attended an event to be screened.

Chatham High School principal Darren Groh says that the school has had “too many incidents over the course of the last number of months… and in previous years where kids are consuming alcohol prior to coming to events."

Officials say multiple students have even needed emergency treatment in recent years.

Now the school can test students at random, or a sampling of them, such as one of every five that attends an event, like a game or a school dance.

The district never tested all the students for alcohol because it didn't have the devices to do so. The new policy is effective immediately, but is unlikely to be used until the district can buy alcohol-screening devices.

Some students who spoke to News 12 New Jersey say that they are not in favor of the new policy.

"The fact they're breathalyzing you when you walk into a football game or any school event, I don't know, it's just kind of uncomfortable,” says senior Jack O’Neill.

The Chatham Board of Education approved the policy Monday night.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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