Students Barred from Graduation After Zero-Tolerance Drinking Policy Violation

At least one of the students was able to graduate after filing an injunction in circuit court.

Nine Anne Arundel county students were reportedly barred from graduation due to accusations of drinking; however, according to Anne Arundel County Public Schools spokesman Bob Mosier, at least one student was allowed to graduate after filing a circuit court injunction.

The students attend , which has a zero-tolerance policy regarding student drinking. According to WJZ, the students were unable to attend prom or senior and graduation ceremonies and were also suspended from school for three days.

The Board of Education's policy JCC-RAC includes regulations against both the possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages. "Constructive possession" is defined as "failing to remove oneself from a situation or area where alcohol or other drugs are known to be present," even if that student did not necessarily consume or possess alcohol themselves. Action may be taken against students for constructive possession as well as actual possession, consumption and distribution.

"We make very plain every year in multiple ways to graduating seniors what the procedures are for alcohol-related violations," said Mosier, who added that he was unable to comment on specific student cases. "If you look at our student handbook, there is a page in the front that parents sign acknowledging that they have read the handbook and the policies inside."

As the school year draws to a close, county schools make an extra effort to remind students of the policies regarding drinking.

"Every high school in this county talks to their seniors about this regulation every single spring," added Mosier. "It's obviously in place for a very good reason. The last thing you want to do is have a student or multiple students' lives harmed because somebody got careless with alcohol or did something illegal. The prohibition is clear right there."

Northeast held their prom on May 14 and seniors . Students all over Anne Arundel county were reminded about the consequences of drinking.

"When you get to the senior celebration time of the year it can become very prevalent," said Mosier. "That's why we make the regulation very clear."

chris June 02, 2011 at 07:40 PM
I also have mixed feelings. As a parent the discipline is my responsibility. Drinking and driving is a punishable offence. However, as I recall correctly, I am not given the choice of my feelings in regards to signing the handbook. I had to sign it or my child would have gotten a zero on the "assignment". The student handbook must be signed and turned in regardless if I agree with the consequences of my child’s action or not.
Erica June 02, 2011 at 08:25 PM
I went to Northeast and my senior year they made sure every student knew the zero-tolerance policy and the Constructive possession rule. Northeast has always had a problem with kids drinking at prom and I think banning seniors form senior activities has really cut down on the problem. As the school year comes to and end the shcool staff put reminders to the seniors in the morning annocements. During lunches when prom tickets are on sale students are reminded that if they are cought drinking at prom they will not graduate. I'm not saying I agree with all of the schools policies but as students, the nine seriors knew the rules and should be punished accordingly.
Joe Hall June 03, 2011 at 03:58 PM
This is another arrogant example of schools usurping parental responsibility ands rights. It also seems to undermine individual responsibility. If I see someone drinking a beer on televison is that include under the vague Constructive possession rule. Would this rule stand up in court? Erica obviously you are with the school and should first disclose this. In any of your statements do you mention parents being informed of this policy. Most High school students are still minors and do need parents. The schools once again seem to exclude parents. We always have the best interest of children. Not self righteous school administrators.
John Thomas June 03, 2011 at 09:33 PM
Nowadays the darn parents are worse than the children. Thats a real problem. Its become a free for all society...Kudos to Northeast High school
Matthew Edward June 12, 2011 at 12:10 AM
I have a zero-tolerance policy for things as ridiculous as "constructive possession". They have every right to fight this in court. If the drinking wasn't at school or at a school function, Northeast should keep their nose out of it. "The last thing you want to do is have a student or multiple students' lives harmed." - Mosier. Won't they be emotionally and psychologically harmed being banned from prom and graduation?


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