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School: Breathalyzer Or No Graduation

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ST. CHARLES, Minn. (WCCO) – Some parents are considering suing their kids’ school for what they consider a violation of their rights.

Seniors at St. Charles High School had to take a breathalyzer test at their graduation rehearsal on Friday.

Parent Jim Welp says he was shocked when his son Alec called Friday morning to tell him he’d be given a breathalyzer test at school.

Alec tested negative. He told his Dad all 73 of his classmates were also tested.

“When he said that right away I knew, they can’t do that,” said Welp.

Welp immediately drove to the school to question administrators about their authority to administer breathalyzers.

“They said they did, I said you don’t, I said you have to have probable cause,” he said.

Faculty told Welp and other parents they had smelled alcohol on some of the students.

“I said you can’t test them all because some of the students have alcohol,” he said.

Superintendent Mark Roubinek says teachers told the principal they observed unusual behavior by a group of 20 or more students.

He says administration feared several of those students would be driving after rehearsal was over.

“It was a bad situation, it would’ve been a terrible situation if some kids would’ve gotten hurt or killed,” said Roubinek.

School policy says when kids appear intoxicated at school, police are called.

“In our discussions and working with them, we moved on to the next stage,” said Roubinek.

That stage was testing the entire class.

Although the school declined to tell exactly how many tested positive, they do say it’s a number in the double digits.

Several of the parents of the seniors are planning on attending the school board’s meeting on June 11 to voice their concerns.

The graduation ceremony was Sunday. Everyone walked, including students who tested positive.

The superintendent did say those students did face consequences.

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