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Zero Tolerance ... Well, Sort Of

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Do you think East Haven High's policy should have been changed?

Glass of Beer

Twenty-three students in East Haven, Conn., were ticketed by police at a Sept. 11 house party where alcohol was served. Many of them were high school football players and cheerleaders.

Their high school, East Haven High, has had a "zero tolerance" policy since 1997 which states that any high school athletes caught with possession of alcohol will be kicked off the team for the entire season.

But many parents thought that was too harsh, and said so at a heated school board meeting last week.

Now, athletes will only be suspended for 20 percent of the season.

The new policy is as follows:

For the first offense of being in possession of alcohol, high school athletes will now be suspended for two football games and will have to meet with the school's social worker before being reinstated.

If the high school athlete is caught in possession of alcohol for a second time, they are suspended for the rest of the year from the sport that they were playing.

Finally, if the high school athlete is caught in possession of alcohol for a third time, they have a full suspension from all athletics.

Some parents are angry and say the rules were fine the way they were. But others are glad that they are being more flexible.

"Keep in mind that these kids were not shooting up in a hallway," said Teri Kasperzyk, the mother of one of the suspended football players, senior lineman Stephen Kasperzyk, 17. "They merely received a blanket citation for being present when alcohol was being served," she said.

Do you think the school's zero tolerance policy was too harsh, or should it have never been messed with?

next: Why My Kids Call Me "Ditcher"
14 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous September 29, 2009, 8:08 AM

Once again we bend the rules because some people don’t believe that they should have to be responsible for thier actions. The parents should have just accepted the punishment that thier children were to recieve and by not doing so, they are teaching thier kids that all rules don’t apply to everyone.

HeeHee September 29, 2009, 8:20 AM

They probably got off easy because they were jocks and cheerleaders who are the biggest drinkers in school.

Kirsten September 29, 2009, 10:30 AM

There are very few people that have attended high school that can say they have never been to a party where kids were drinking alcohol. I think it is good that they bent the rules a little bit because its high school and teenagers are going to make mistakes. They are still getting punished but it will not ruin their entire high school career because of one mistake. Also, these rules do not just apply to the “jocks” because in high school I was a “jock” and was on drumline and got punished by both when I was caught at a party where there was alcohol.

Derrick Young September 29, 2009, 10:54 AM

As this was a non school function I do not think that they should have any say in what happened. The school’s area of responsibility should only be at the school or school functions. If it was School Dance or Game then different story. But a house party is of school property and none of the schools business. To many Parents look to the education system to do their job of raising their kids and these are the ones who want the school to take responsibility for the students actions away from school. Maybe the parents that are upset by this should look at their own role in raising thier own kids

That Guy September 29, 2009, 11:09 AM

Drunk high school girls… yeehaw!

Loli September 30, 2009, 5:08 AM

Kirsten, I hate to break it to you, but there’s no such thing as a “high school career”. Only people that peak in high school think there is.

anonymos September 30, 2009, 8:24 AM

I think the rules should have been upheld. When I was in high school, a bunch of kids got caught skipping school on a Friday to throw a kegger. Police knew who the kids were before they got there so they called the high school to tell them. The high school called the house and warned the kids (their parents were well known in the community). The stupid kids still got caught. It was close to graduation and those in National Honor Society were told they could no longer graduate with honors and were being removed from the society. Their parents had the money and took it to court and dragged it out so long that the school department gave up the fight. One of the girls was actually quoted in the newspaper saying “I don’t know why they’re punishing us, we’re the GOOD kids.” If they’re so good why were they skipping school to throw a 9am keg party? If parents keep bailing out their kids the kids will always feel entitled to special treatment and never actually learn right from wrong.

That Guy September 30, 2009, 10:37 AM

Next thing you know, these kids will be having sex while wearing chastity rings… Oh wait - they already are! This whole group is a bunch of hypocrites. If they believed this rule was an issue, they should have addressed it before getting caught. All these kids learned is that you can get away with anything.

Kirsten October 2, 2009, 7:12 AM

Very mature response. In case you didn’t know “high school career” is describing the span of time you spent in high school I didn’t actually mean it as a career. I didn’t “peak” in high school I haven’t even peaked in life yet I am only 23. I was simply giving my opinion and trying to explain that the rule doesn’t only effect “jocks.”

Ybealdan October 10, 2009, 3:35 PM

I bookmarked this link. Thank you for good job!,

Asaonia October 11, 2009, 8:11 PM

I bookmarked this link. Thank you for good job!,

Nerd November 15, 2009, 1:02 PM

Everyone bends the rules for athletes. Good sports teams are good publicity for the school. Competitive sports teams and coaches send a message to the kids on the field that winning is the only goal, and that you need to do anything to get to that goal, be it hard work, or playing just a little dirty. And I like that this is football players and cheerleaders. What if the tennis or badminton players got caught with alcohol? There wouldn’t have been a change in the rules, I can assure you. That being said, I don’t think this rule is even just. It isn’t the school’s business what happens outside of school. It just bugs me that this is a zero tolerance school, until some kids from one particular team get caught, then this rule is all of a sudden too harsh.

Doctorset November 20, 2009, 11:20 AM

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Dietroly November 21, 2009, 12:01 AM

This is the welcome page for the Association web site.

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