• Alcohol detectors at prom? Parent objections don't stop Dracut decision

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    DRACUT, Mass. – Students at Dracut High School will now have to prove they have not been drinking before they can enter prom or other events.

    According to school officials, alcohol nips were found by staff members on several occasions including last year’s prom. They acknowledge the problem isn’t overwhelming, but it’s enough to merit action.

    “Simply deterrence and safety the idea is that by introducing a breath alcohol test for events like the prom we’re stopping students before they come to the prom, before they consider drinking alcohol,” Superintendent Steven Stone said.

    The decision was approved at a meeting Monday night, but many parents who spoke expressed frustration and said this will not make school activities safer.

    “It’s overkill you’re taking away from the night, you’re driving a wedge between school administration and the students,” one parent said.

    One concerned citizen even suggested that the alcohol testing will push students toward other substances.

    “Kids are not stupid. If they know that the only thing this is going to detect is alcohol and they want to get high, they’re going to pick something else,” Danielle Caputo said.

    Dracut’s police chief backed administrators saying there’s no downside to this.

    The school approved funds to buy four alcohol detection machines, a total of around $2,000, and said they should be ready to go before prom in May.

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