Friday, September 27, 2002
CCHS seniors arrive intoxicated on opening day
Concord-Carlisle High School principal Arthur Dulong has confirmed that several members of the class of 2003 reported for the first day of school, September 5, in an intoxicated condition, with evidence that some drinking may have occurred on school grounds. He declined, however, to report how many students were involved, and whether Carlisle students were among them.
Dulong was quick to add that this was an unusual, isolated incident. Although Dulong himself has been at CCHS for just one year, assistant principal Henry Damon reported that first-day-of-school drinking has not to his knowledge occurred before in the 34 years he has worked at the school.
The incident was loosely linked with the annual tradition of incoming seniors decorating the school grounds the morning before the first day of school. Hundreds of students began gathering in the parking lot at about 7:00 a.m., while custodians, staff members and police officers kept a watchful eye.
"The students were in a good mood, greeting each other. Nothing seemed out of place," said Dulong. After the police officers were called away on other matters, dean of students Jessica Truslow checked on the situation outside and spotted a beer can on the ground.
"As the morning unfolded, she had a heightened awareness and observed someone who appeared under the influence," Dulong said. Soon, other teachers began reporting students who appeared intoxicated. These students were brought before the principal and then evaluated by the school nurse. After a small number of students were determined to be intoxicated, school policies regarding alcohol consumption were implemented.
Current school policy states that students identified to be under the influence of alcohol at school are to be suspended (a minimum of five days) and dismissed into the custody of a parent/guardian, with an informal notification made to the police department juvenile officer. Dulong added that some student privileges would also be revoked.
"We all learned something from this, the adults as well as the students," Dulong said. "I met with the students and I feel we have a pretty good understanding of one another."
Above all, Dulong expressed his desire to "move on" and focus on the year ahead. "I'm sure the students will rise to the occasion and that we'll have a good year," he said.
© 2002 The Carlisle Mosquito