CHESTERTON | Robert Blumenthal, assistant principal at Chesterton High School, asked the Duneland School Corp. board to consider a policy to adopt Breathalyzer tests for high school dances, adding the pilot program at last school year’s prom had “no incidents whatsoever.”
“When we did it for prom we had about 600 students and the process included four breath-test machines. The students came through and blew into the machine and if they were positive they went to a private room and were given an additional test by law enforcement and luckily we didn’t have a single positive,” Blumenthal said.
A signature requirement and policy proposal wouldn’t begin until winter formal, but the Breathalyzers will be used for homecoming this weekend which includes freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. Blumenthal said it is the most well-attended dance of the year.
The Chesterton High homecoming parade is at 4 p.m. Friday and will feature floats containing playhouses to be auctioned on eBay for charity.
Josh Huwig, also an assistant principal at Chesterton High, said the Breathalyzer policy states, “In order to provide and maintain a safe and orderly event, CHS staff will administer a Breathalyzer test before students can enter the dance. This will apply to all CHS-sponsored dances, including but not limited to homecoming, winter dance, prom and senior banquet.”
He said that students are required to sign an agreement acknowledging school rules when they purchase their ticket. Breathalyzer use will continue and the policy will be considered for student handbook adoption in the spring, said Huwig.
Kevin Kinel, swimming coach, was recognized for his national and state awards over his 33-year career including the National High School Coaches Association Coach of the Year for boys’ swimming in 2013 and coaching four Olympic trial swimmers.
“The big thing for me is the support I’ve had. We’ve always had the support of the administration and the community and the support has just continued. I’m still having fun doing what I’m doing,” Kinel said.
Superintendent Dr. David Pruis said that official enrollment will be counted on Friday but that he anticipates it will be slightly more than last year, and that the new district's employee health center opened this month.
The board next meets at 6 p.m. Sept. 25th for a public hearing on the proposed budget.