What to do with a slightly inebriated young girl!!! ?

Anyone here ever go to school drunk? High? Tripping, etc?

If so:

Did you ever get caught? What was your punishment?

Now tell me if you are a responsible, productive member of society or if you are a drunken alcoholic.

I believe that many students have gone to school drunk before. I think there are worse things in the world to do then leave school during an assembly and have a few drinks, then come back and finish school. Now if it was everyday, that would be something different. Friends of mine used to do that every now and then, and they are all responisble adults with good paying jobs now. They never got caught in school and they did not need some punishment to “turn them around”.

I was in the office last week to look up a student who skipped my class and while I was walking out another student starting talking to me. I realized she was drunk right away because of her body movement. She was not very obviously drunk though. I took her out of the office and checked her nastagnus (eyes) and then I was positive she had been drinking. Eventually I got her to confess everything and I gave her a long lecture. Then I sent her back into the office. She had been sent there originally because another teacher thought she may have been drinking.

Anyway, I did not inform the APs that I knew a student was drunk. She was already in the freaking office for crying out loud. She was not ‘wasted’. She seemed to be a good student, she was a cheerleader and she had good grades. So I did not bother going out of my way to get her in trouble. I figured I would let the office handle it. Well the Principal does not think I made the right decision and he does not want me back at his school for a year. WTF?!?

What would all of you have done?

Does the school have a zero tolerance policy?
Does the school have a coulencer(sp?) with the specific job of “counceling” kids on drug and/or alchohol?
I would have at least followed up on her and told someone else.
But then again, I was one of those kids that worked with my school’s drug counsler.

Students who come to school drunk have a problem. Maybe this girl doesn’t need “punishment,” but she certainly needs someone to find out why she’s in school drunk. Maybe this has happened many times and this was the first time she was caught. She must have been quite apparently drunk, since one teacher already thought she was and you realized right away that she was.

There is something I don’t understand - if the girl was already in the office because she was suspected of being drunk, and the office was already aware of the situation, is the AP mad because you gave the girl a lecture? Or that you were independently aware of her being drunk and didn’t inform the office, even though you knew that they already knew she was in there for being drunk? Or does the AP think somehow that you were completely unaware that she had already been reported and that you thought you would just lecture her on your own and not inform anyone else? I can understand how the AP would not agree with your handling of the situation if he thinks you were trying to handle this completely on your own. Maybe you need to clarify your actions with the AP?

I told the principal that the girl was already in the office for that reason. The problem is, the AP would not have know for SURE that the student was drunk. Though I did because of my DUI training from the police academy and the fact that I also work at a bar and see how drunken girls act all night. I think that she may have been a little more obvious earlier, but by the time I saw her, it was all wearing off. Probably a combination of the fact she was scared and she was waiting in the office for who knows how long. The AP would probably not have realized she was drinking. It would have gone like this:

AP: Have you been drinking?
HER: No.
AP: Then why does the teacher think you might have been drinking?
HER: I don’t know. I am just kinda hyper today and a friend told me a really funny joke. I swear I was not drinking.
AP: Well… you still get a detention.

The AP would have never known. I figured she was probably drunk because while I was in the office a girl next to her stopped me and said she remembered me from when I taught her in Junior High. Then the drunk girl pointed at me and said she remembered me too. I pointed back and said that I do not remember her. Then she tried to bite my finger- playfully. I don’t think she realized I am a teacher. I asked her right away if she had been drinking and of course she denied it. I would have believed her had I not checked her eyes. It then took close to five minutes to get her to confess to me.
It is not something she does often. There was an assembly that day and she skipped it. Not an uncommon thing. Ironically it was an assembly about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Not a very good one though, I might add. She has good grades and she is involved in extra curricular activities. After talking with her, I told her to go back and sit down and the APs would handle it. There was only like an hour left in the day. When the last bell rang, I saw her in the hall and I asked what kind of trouble she was in. She said that her mother had to call the school on Monday. I figured it was taken care of. I told her that if I ever caught her doing that again I would go straight to the cheerleading coach. (Much worse than tell an AP, trust me)
I do not believe that every student who comes to school drunk has a problem. Like I said, I have known many classmates who left shchool, had a couple drinks and went back. It is not all that uncommon. And I do not think it means there is a problem or that the student is a loser. In fact, my sophomore year in high school there was a group of Seniors called the Cisco Kids. Named after the drink ‘Cisco’. They were known to be drunk at school on more than one occassion. They never got caught that I know of. Of the six Cisco Kids. Five graduated WITH HONORS. The other graduated with like a B average or something. Nothing bad. They were all in sports and good students.


Tough situation. Kind of a rock and a hard place. If they were aware that this student was there for drinking though they have little to be angry with you about. Does the Principal have some problem with you? I would think that the Principal has little control over this situation. Wouldn’t a “suspension” have to be approved by the school board? Also I would think that your union would offer you some protection. Maybe a clarification is in order. There must be a miscommunication somewhere. Good teachers are hard to come by and this doesn’t seem to warrant the proposed action.

You reprimanded the child and they were aware she had been drinking. I see no foul on your part.

Hell. the kid took the risk and got caught she has nothing to complain about. I think it tends to be more of an indication that school is not challenging enough for her than an indication of a problem. Might still be a problem and might be an indication of a bigger problem but don’t discount boredom.

{Speaking as one of the people who used to sneak out for a little refreshment occasionally.]

I think it’s this one: "Or that you were independently aware of her being drunk and didn’t inform the office, even though you knew that they already knew she was in there for being drunk?

The thing is, I have special training and experience that the APs do not have. They would never have been able to know for sure that she had been drinking. The principal is pissed because I did not inform the APs of what I found out. Also, I got the entire story out of the student. Who’s house she went to, who was with her, etc. Now if her story would have included some 25 year old who picked her up and got her drunk, then I would have done something. But she left school with some student and they both came back.

You stated you don’t know this student well. You took her at her word that she’s a good student? (even though she lied about the drinking?)

but, more than that other questions came up in my mind:

How was this young lady getting home from school? was she going to be driving perhaps?

Is she on medication? How would you know or not know?

As a parent, I would be furious if the school knew my minor child had been drinking at school and did not notify me. I drop him off at school at 7:15 am, and some days don’t see him until 6 pm (depending on his after school schedule).

that may have been where they were going with it.

I understand that you were trying to use your best judgement. Just have those other considerations in mind.

As far as my ** own ** personal did I ever go to school drunk/high and what happened stories. (quickly checking statute of limitations). Yes, I did. I got sent to the principals’ office because I was rude to my teacher. No one asked if I was using anything. Do I have a problem now? no. (I barely even drink these days).

HOWEVER. Frankly, I was in crisis at the time. My mother was an active alcoholic and things were really quite bad at home. I made several attempts to get help for us (in a 16 year olds way of doing it - acting out, etc). No one talked. So, from my own background, if her drinking was not a “problem drinker” kind of thing, she may have been acting out to try and get help for other issues as well.

Went to school drunk, high, tripping, etc…you bet.

Ever caught? Oddly enough, no.

Am I a responsible member of society today? Yes. But…

I was a junkie. Had lots of legal trouble, did a lot of crimes, hurt a lot of people, and almost died a couple of times. Would some kind of intervention from school personel back then have helped? I don’t know. Knowing me, probably not.
However, if this kid has a drinking a problem and has an injury or worse due to drinking, well…
Can you hear how a lawyer would phrase it? “The school administration saw the signs of the problem and did nothing to intervene. And then this terrible tragedy blah, blah, blah.” These are different, litigious times. I’m sure the Principal thought, to protect the school if nothing else, that they should err on the side of caution.
Just a thought. Maybe not a good one…

No offense, but that sounds vaguely elitist.

If the kid was not popular, or not a good student, would you have turned her in?

spooje has another good point. By failing to report what you knew, you were exposing the school to potential liability. If she had caused injury to herself or another after your encounter, you could have been looking at a lawsuit.

Aside from whatever you did or didn’t do wrong, success in school - being a cheerleader, getting good grades, being sports stars, graduating with honors - and having a drinking problem are by no means mutually exclusive. Lots of raging alcoholics are completely functioning.

I’m not saying that this girl has a drinking problem, but there is a reason she is coming to school drunk - whether that’s because she needs to have a drink or because she thinks being drunk at school is a fun or cool thing to do. No, not every single person who drinks at an inappropriate time is an alcoholic, nor are they destined for a downward spiral as a wino. But some of them are - which is why the school (and by extension, its teachers), in its function as, what’s the term - in loco parentis - has a responsibility to take some kind of action when a student is doing something not only illegal but possibly physically harmful on school property. It doesn’t matter if there’s only an hour left - she was likely drunk for numerous hours beforehand.

I would guess that her meeting with the AP would not have gone quite as pat as your scenario. I don’t think every student who drinks necessarily has a serious drinking problem either, but your 5-minute talk with this girl is not sufficient time to determine why (of course she’s going to say it was the first time) she did it, nor to impress upon her the severity of her actions. I do think you should have brought it to the attention of the AP, which, it sounds to me, like you weren’t planning to do because you felt your brief lecture was enough. In my opinion, I don’t think you should have made that call.

Let me clarify. I do not work at this particular school exclusively. I am a substitute teacher and I can technically work at any of the 100 and some odd schools in this county. I pretty much stick to a half dozen schools I like though. This school is one I really like since it is my alma mater. The principal says he does not want me back at the school for a year. He could write a letter to the school board and actually get me fired. But he says this will stay between us. Oh… and the ten thousand dopers who will be reading this :slight_smile:

BTW, suspensions do not need to be approved by the School Board. Only Expulsions do.

I think the main thinking on my part was thatthis particular school is full of students that just don’t give a shit about anything, they are failing, they have piss poor behaviour and no respect. This was a student with good grades, concern, and respect. I decided that if they can figure out she is drunk, than so be it. But I was not going to go tell them I had ‘proof’.

The principal went on about the ‘safety and security’ of the students and all this. I understand where he is coming from. He said the AP would not have diagnosed the situation the way I did and he would not have known the student was drunk. I agree, and I knew that when I let her go back in the office. But the student was already in the office under suspicion of being drunk. They could have gotten the deputy in there right away to talk to her. I do not think all the blame should be put on me.

She had practice after school. ALso, she is too young to drive and she was no where near ‘impaired’ when I was talking to her. Great post though. Good points.

I guess it does. But it’s not. If she was in the math league of chess team and had a 4.9 GPA, I would have done the same thing. It was not a popularity thing, it was about a good student who made a mistake. And yes I can tell when someone is a good student and/or a good person. And though it took like five minutes before she would tell me the whole story, I talked to her for about 20 minutes longer. (and yes, the AP had still not called on her…WTF?) When you catch someone doing wrong and they tell you to fuck off, because they dont give a shit and school sucks ass anyway… bad student. No I am not exaggerating. When they speak to you with respect and they are sorry and actually very worried about getting in trouble because they have things to lose and their grades will drop… good student.

Not an excuse, but: This was not MY student. I know I am responsible for all the students in the school. But what I am saying is that the teacher who sent the student to the office in the first place could and should have taken care of all that. And then, the APs who knew why the student was in there, could and should have called the deputy to come talk to her. I figured I would let them handle it. Had they sent her to the Deputy he would have known for sure that she had been drinking. Thanks for the imput missbunny. Nice to hear from a concerned parent.

Yes. However, I am not qualified to diagnose a student for being under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or controlled substance, nor am I at the school for such a purpose. That is the job of the Deputy. Legally speaking, I asked a student in the office if she had been drinking… eventually she said Yes. Then, when I asked the student why she was in the office she said because the teacher thought she might have been drunk. Well… that is where a student under suspicion of being drunk at school should be. I figured the office will take care of the situation.

Bear_nenno, I think you did the right thing.

I used to go to school high all the time. I would have gone drunk, but I had a harder time getting liquor, and if I had some I probably wouldn’t have gone back to school after drinking. But me and my friends would get high on the way to fairly often.

I didn’t have a drug problem, I wasn’t a junkie. I graduated with honors, held down a fairly responsible part time job, went to college, am successful now.

Not every kid who experiments is a junkie. I would, however, keep an eye on this girl and see if anything gets worse. It’s hard to tell the difference between a teenager having fun and pushing the limits, and a teenager who is genuinely in need of help. Drug and alcohol use, or lack thereof, is NOT a deciding factor.

Bear, I must take issue with your response to wring: this girl was impaired - by your own statement, she was definitely acting drunk. One teacher thought she was drunk, you knew she was drunk, her eyes were glassy, and she had taken the completely and utterly inappropriate action of biting a male teacher’s finger. If that doesn’t show impaired judgment, then I don’t know what does.

It only takes one drink to impair someone’s coordination and judgment; this girl clearly had way more than one drink. (Just because the drinker doesn’t “feel anything” doesn’t mean that physiologically there is no effect from the alcohol.) And she wasn’t even 16 years old? How can you say, with all your training, that she wasn’t “impaired”? Your description of her indicates that she obviously was. It doesn’t matter if she wasn’t driving - and anyway, just because she said that, how would you know it was true? How do you know she was really going to practice? How do you know she wasn’t riding a bike or scooter? How do you know she wasn’t going to walk home and accidentally wander onto a busy road?

I am split on my opinion of this situation.

In one respect, I have my motherly instincts kick in and would be outraged if I was not FULLY informed as to my childs destructive habits. Wether it be just teenage experimentation or a problem, I want to be aware of it. There are many ways to fool a AP, who sees possibly hundreds of kids a day.I’m sure with the administration in poorly funded schools, plenty of kids slip through the crackes. I feel it is your responsibility as an educator and care taker of my children, to make this childs administrator aware so that he can take responsible actions.

On the other hand, I look at it from a recently graduated student. I can count how many times I drank while in school on one hand. It wasn’t something I did often. hell, I hate the taste of alcohol. If I were caught I would have had a lot of splainin’ to do to my parents. Of course if you know your child well enough, one would understand that it was just peer pressure or experimenting. The problem is that I also know kids who drank while in school and now have a REAL problem with alcohol. I think is best to bear the the brunt of parental rage, than to really have a problem develop.

It also sounds like the OP is vaguely suggesting that popular cheerleaders with good grade are somehow immune from alcohol or drug abuse.

Speaking only as a mother of teenagers. If my daughter was under suspicion of being drunk at school but later excused because the AP didn’t have the skills to determine whether or not she really was, then drove herself home, and then I learned that a teacher was not only aware that she was drunk but also knew of the cirumstances and did nothing more than lecture her, heads would roll at the school (and at home).

I don’t want to sound harsh, but I think you had some responsibility in mentioning your suspicions to the AP. If she confessed to you that she had been drinking with another student, you should have at least made certain the other kid wasn’t driving home from school.

Speaking as someone who used to drink, smoke, snort, or swallow (including a hit of acid every now and then), my lunch once or twice a week during high school, I remember how many dangerous risks we took because we felt invincible. I can also tell you that good grades and popularity are no way to determine if there is a problem. We were “good” kids who got good grades, we just knew how outsmart the teachers and hide what we did. Even though most of us made it through that period, a few didn’t.

I think she’ll remember you as an easy mark. She knows she can get away with it with you.

I can see the Pricipal’s point though. It wasn’t your decision to make. (Unless I’ve missed something in this.)
The school would have been liable for any damages she could have caused, and wide open for lawsuits. In this age, I wouldn’t have taken a chance, for certain.

NO. I am saying that good students deserve a break every now and then. Popularity is not the issue. I do not know how many friends this person had. I am sorry though, but I do believe being involved in your school makes you a better student. Whether it is the Science Club, National Honor Society, the Dance Team or the Football eam. There is more to school than just showing up. Students that want to be involved and be something get more respect from me than the ones that just do not give a shit. If that sounds elitist… well I do not see how. Everyone should have SOMETHING. Not everyone should be a ‘jock’, I understand that. But when a student is in to something, or cares about some group like their Drama troup or the NJROTC or whatever, whether it makes them popular or not is getting much more out of school than another person. If this was some punk or thug… then yes I would have gone out of my way to make sure the person was busted. Also, being a cheerleader at this school does not make a person popular. The majority of this school hates cheerleaders and school all together. Yes, the MAJORITY! And since their football team has not one a game this year… that is not making people any friends either.
IT would be much easier for a person to start hanging in the wrong crowds at this school than do something productive.

Though this gets a little off topic, displaying signs of being buzzed like being extra touchy, and being too impaired to operate a motor vehicle are too different things. Yes a teacher thought she may have been drinking. But this student had pleanty of time sober up since then. And her eyes were not glassy at all. The problem was she had a lack of smooth pursuit and her eyes were jumpy ass hell at the corners. Every seen the ole ‘Follow my finger’ test. This student was not too drunk to drive (had she been old enough), and definitely not too drunk to walk somewhere. The reason they do not allow a nastagnus test in court as evidence of DUI in this county is because you can fail the thing without being “impaired”. It simply means a person was drinking. And it always works.
As far as knowing she was going to practice… well there is practice everyday after school. It is not something you can just not show up to. If she would not show up, then she would not get to cheer. If she did not care about cheering then she would not have gone through all the hassles of being on the team. Simple logic to me.

Athena, Thanks.

Miscommunication here… I was meaning him essentially suspending you.

Now the fact that you are a sub changes that because you are not under contract and are not afforded the same protection from the union.

The easy thing to do is sub at one of the other schools in the county. Is the sub rate higher at this particular school? Or do you have a number of days in with that district already that would affect your lifelong counter for the sub-rate? If no to both of those…screw them. Otherwise it is a bigger issue in the affect on your ability to earn money. Aside from the fact you may be attempting to get a contracted position in that school.

I understand your point about not wanting the blame. The girl was in the office for suspected drinking. I don’t see why everyone is jumping on you about your actions. The responsibility at the point she is sent to the office falls on the office staff. Should you have said something to them…probably. Should it be this big of an issue…NO! You talked to her regarding the reason she was there. You had no further proof and obviously they knew she was drunk both because it got back to you eventually and that is why she was there in the first place.

The office is the one responsible for doling out the discipline, contacting the parent(s)/police and making sure this girl gets home safely. I would think that a parent would be picking her up from school as she should not have been allowed to return to class in an intoxicated state.

Obviously their first concern in a “sue happy world” is covering their ass though. Which is why you should have said something. However a 1 year ban on subbing in the district might be excessive considering they had been informed she was most likely intoxicated.