Is Drinking a Problem at Football Games?

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Drinking at Football Games
By: Adara Burch

At the homecoming football game, there were a few instances of students getting into trouble for being under the influence of alcohol, resulting in MIPs, and suspension from school and school activities.
“This is the first game that we’ve had a problem with it,” said Principal Kevin Conwell when asked about the incidents. He said that in his past few years of working at Bozeman High School that this is the first he’s heard of this type of problem at a football game.
According to school policy, all the administration needs in order to question someone about their behavior is “reasonable suspicion.”
“It’s less than what the police need for sure,” Conwell says, “We are your legal guardians on campus, therefore we are responsible for the safety of everyone. We only need to suspect that someone is under the influence or have a tip that someone has something illegal, or smell something in order to search or question them.”
Conwell also disclosed that the school administration (including the school resource officers) don’t necessarily need to breathalyze someone in order to give them an MIP: they can determine whether or not someone is under the influence by smell, behavior, slurring of words, et cetera.
“We watch for unusual behavior. We rely on others to give us reports like ticket sellers, parents, and other students will sometimes tip us off,” Conwell said.

Junior Thomas McGuane goes to games frequently and says that “drinking is only a problem for a small group of kids, for the rest of us it’s not. Those people keep to themselves. We have a pretty clean school and I don’t feel that there is much to worry about.”
But Conwell says the school is wondering if maybe this is becoming a new thing, to drink at football games, therefore, he adds, they are really going to be keeping an eye out for it. Conwell says that the chances of getting caught are so great because there’s so many people around, someone is going to notice, and someone’s going to report it.
“Underage drinking is prohibited. It’s against the law,” Conwell said.
“Not only would you get in trouble with the law, but the school has its own measures to be taken with this situation. It’s really a poor choice, and it’s really just a matter of when you get caught,” Conwell concluded.

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