Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Elite school to breath-test students:

The principal of a private Brisbane girls' school says the breath-testing of students is part of a responsible approach to alcohol.
Date: August 17 2012
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Moreton Bay College is to randomly test students at a Year 11 semi-formal amid concerns they may drink at parties beforehand, The Courier-Mail reports.

The college, which counts Governor-General Quentin Bryce as a past student, has taken action after a handful of such cases in the past.

But principal Jennifer Haynes says those incidents aren't the sole reason and the tests are part of a broader strategy to educate students and parents about the dangers of alcohol.

"It has been part of ... recognising, along with the rest of the community, that we do have problems with excess among young people for a variety of reasons," the paper quotes her as saying.

"Binge drinking, for instance, is a major concern."

Ms Haynes said the school wanted to take a responsible approach, given the damaging effect of alcohol on young brains.

The testing was also about encouraging "parents not to offer their children alcohol when they are 15", she said.

The school wrote to parents this week, saying alcohol and other illicit substances were not to be consumed by students or their partners before the semi-formal.

Those who refused to be breath-tested or returned positive results would be refused entry to the event or asked to leave.

They also risked being thrown out of the school.

"If your daughter is refused entry to, or asked to leave the semi-formal, her enrolment at Moreton Bay College may be reviewed," the letter said.

Just last week, the private Southport School on the Gold Coast said it was introducing random urine and saliva tests as part of a campaign to keep students off drugs.

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