Prom breathalyzers are standard practice at many mid-Missouri high schools

Posted on 24 April 2018 at 3:04pm

ASHLAND - As prom season begins, Rock Bridge High School said it will be breathalyzing its students upon entry to the dance.

The Rock Bridge student council and administrators made the decision after incidents at homecoming last year. 

Mid-Missouri schools in Jefferson City and Ashland said they've been testing students for years.

Brenda Hatfield, President of the Parent Teacher Organization at Jefferson City High School, said they've been breathalyzing students for over a decade.

KOMU 8 News sat down with Chris Felmlee, superintendent of Southern Boone District, who said they implemented the policy proactively. The district owns two breathalyzer wands and works with local law enforcement officials, who help administer the tests.

"The expectation is that the kids know. Many times they use this as an excuse, 'I can't do this because they're going to breathalyze me,' So that becomes really convenient for them not to engage in that kind of behavior. Not necessarily just them, but their peers," Felmlee said.

Felmlee said Southern Boone has been breathalyzing students for more than six years now. 

A student at Southern Boone High School, Joseph Carpenter, said he doesn't oppose the test, but he does think the bad apples should stop spoiling prom for the bunch. 

"Stop ruining it for everyone else, honestly. Because now everybody has to get checked for it. And for the people that don't do anything, it's a drag."