A group of students suspected of drinking alcohol prior to a homecoming dance at Walled Lake Central High School were detained by authorities and turned over to their parents, the school district has confirmed.
“Sadly, there were 12 Walled Lake Central students that, after being tested with a Breathalyzer by an Oakland County Sheriff’s (Department) deputy, weren’t allowed to attend the Central homecoming,” Walled Lake Consolidated School District Spokeswoman Judy Evola wrote in a statement sent to the Spinal Column Newsweekly. “Walled Lake Schools doesn’t tolerate underage drinking. We have and will continue to address substance abuse in our health classes and work with the Lakes Area Youth Assistance, the West Bloomfield Community Coalition, and other organizations to educate our students and parents on the dangers of underage drinking.”
The statement was released on Friday, Oct. 5, after the Spinal Column Newsweekly received a tip that Walled Lake Central football players allegedly had been cited for underage drinking.
“We don’t comment on the student discipline except to say the District Code of Conduct and the Athletic Code of Conduct are followed strictly in these instances,” Evola said.
Lieutenant Clay Jansson, commander of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department Commerce Township substation, said the district requested that a deputy respond on Sept. 29 to the school, where some students arriving to the homecoming dance were suspected of drinking.
“There were some students that had apparently been drinking,” Jansson said. “We tested them — most tested positive.”
Jansson said many of the students tested had arrived on a bus and weren’t driving themselves. Students that tested positive for drinking were turned over to their parents.
“The decision was made to handle it internally,” Jansson said. “They have a strict student policy at the school and I’m confident that it was handled appropriately.”
Use, possession, concealment, distribution, sale, or being under the influence of the following specific substances violates the district’s athletic policy: Tobacco or tobacco products; alcohol or alcoholic beverages in any form; illegal drugs, including but not limited to those substances defined as “controlled substances” pursuant to federal and state statute; steroids, human growth hormones or other performance-enhancing drugs; and substances purported to be illegal, abusive or performance enhancing, i.e. “look-alike drugs.”
While the district didn’t say if any specific athletes were among the students detained at the homecoming dance, Walled Lake Central Football Coach Robert Meyer said any comment would have to come from Evola.
“Participation in athletics is a privilege which carries with it a great deal of responsibility,” the district’s athletic code of conduct states. “Students who participate in athletics will be expected to abide by certain training rules along with the Student Code of Conduct, and to conduct themselves in a manner which reflects positively upon their teammates, coach, school and community.”