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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Oopsie! School serves liquor to children.

   
Author Topic: Oopsie! School serves liquor to children.
Dagonee
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Staff Slip Gives Liquor to Children at Alexandria Private School

quote:
"It is with great regret that I tell you that your child may have been exposed to alcohol today at lunch," said the missive signed by Alexander Harvey IV, head of the private Alexandria Country Day School.

It was tequila and margarita mix, to be precise, left in the refrigerator in a pitcher and mistaken for limeade by kitchen staff, who poured it into small cups and served it to children as a lunch treat, he wrote.

Some youngsters didn't like the smell and declined; others took a sip and declared it "gross," according to parents and Harvey.

An administrator who realized something was wrong started investigating, Harvey said, and quickly discovered that the limeade was really liquor -- although it is unclear why the kitchen staff didn't notice. It had been left over, he said, from a party two days earlier at the school for the staff, faculty and Board of Trustees.

Sounds like the school handled it well once the mistake was discovered, but yikes!

Dagonee

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mr_porteiro_head
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I don't know. It doesn't seem like that big a deal to me. How much lasting effect could that much alchohol have on those kids?
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Sara Sasse
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quote:
"I am embarrassed and deeply sorry that this happened," Harvey wrote in the letter, adding that liquor was immediately banned on campus -- a policy already set at many schools -- and that all future faculty parties would be off school grounds. He also spoke with staff about health issues involved with serving children food or drink from open containers.
I think the ban on alcohol at such a school is a good thing, certainly for public areas, and most certainly where children's food is stored. If it is a boarding school with live-in teachers, I could see allowing alcohol in private quarters with discretion, though.

quote:
Harvey told parents in the letter that everybody in the school, with 240 students from kindergarten through eighth grade who pay tuition from $14,200 to $15,600, was informed the same day, Sept. 10.

"We ask the students to be honest and admit their mistakes, and we should do the same," the letter said.

Awesome, adult way to handle it.
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ketchupqueen
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I think it's telling that when they don't know what it is and so don't think it's cool to be doing something "grown up", they say it's gross and refuse to drink it.
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Sara Sasse
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mph, hardly any effect at all. I'd rather not have a pitcher of margaritas accessible to the kids, though.

It seems like the real damage wouldn't have been to the health of the kids but the trust placed in the schoool by the parents -- however, they handled it so well that it looks like that won't be an issue.

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Turgan
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WOOT!

*decides to enroll his kid in THAT school*

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Sara Sasse
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kq, young kids also don't usually like piquant mustards, fish, dark chocolate, etc. Doesn't mean one cannot develop an appreciation of tart lemonade, arugula, and single malt scotch. [Smile]
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mr_porteiro_head
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Sara, my feelings exactly.
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Icarus
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[Hail] Sara

-o-

In public schools, bringing alcohol onto campus, or with a group on a field trip, at any time and for any purpose, including for sharing between adults outside of school time, is cause for immediate termination.

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Scott R
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Both Super-K and Litebrite like spicy food. Super-K is 4, Litebrite is 18 mos.

So it takes all kinds.

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Annie
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Once when I was little, my mom bought a whole case of cranberry-blend juice boxes at Pace to give us with our lunches. She didn't listen to me when I complained about how gross they were because I was a chronically picky eater. It was only after my little brother's teacher talked to my mom about his odd behavior after lunch that she discovered they were fermented!
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ketchupqueen
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Sara, I was just saying that we worry so much about kids drinking, if there wasn't any social pressure it looks like it wouldn't be a problem.

I got a fermented cran-tastic box when I was little. I told my dad it tasted bad, and he tasted it, called the company, and got his money back, since it wasn't open and wasn't past the sell-by date.

[ September 29, 2004, 01:24 PM: Message edited by: ketchupqueen ]

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Belle
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Well...I'd be furious if I were a parent. Not that my kid was exposed to negligible amounts of alcohol, but that the school is having parties on school grounds where school officials are (potentially) getting drunk.

If I'm paying that much tuition, I'd like to know that they aren't using school lunchroom facilities to get plastered.

Go drink off campus, on your own time, and I'll have no problem with you. Get drunk in the school and leave alcohol around where the kids have access to it - and I do have a problem with it.

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pooka
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Recovering alcoholics might have a pretty big problem with it more than others. I think the announcement should have been followed up with a policy change that no alcoholic bevarages be allowed on campus. Even if people are living there.

I don't know much, but I thought tequila was pretty serious stuff. We're not talking cooking wine.

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Icarus
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I'm trying to remember if any of the on-campus parties at my old private school served alcohol. Offhand, I can't remember any that did. However, at our end of the year faculty party, bottles of wine and cases of beer were raffled off, along with other prizes.

I have often been given alcohol as a gift, but I can't remember offhand if it's happened since I worked in a public school.

-o-

Belle, is it the drinking on campus, or getting drunk on campus, or leaving alcohol around that bothers you? Or if it's all three, can you rank them? (How about the presence of alcohol on campus, for consumption elsewhere later?)

Because I know that at private schools, things like this can fly, whereas at public schools they generally cannot, but I'm trying to decide how I feel about it, apart from what the rules are. In other words, you seem to feel that it's intrinsically wrong, even if children had not been exposed to alcohol. Can you elaborate on that for me? (I'm not arguing with you, just wanting to hear viewpoints right now while I'm considering this.)

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Farmgirl
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I don't think it is that big of a deal (meaning, if it had been at our school, I probably would just accept their apology)

But for some people out there (not me) -- some religions strictly forbid alcohol, and if there were any kids of those beliefs at the school, I can understand their parents being upset.

Farmgirl

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pooka
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Oh yeah, Muslims are fairly serious about alcohol, though I don't know if they consider it unclean. Some Mormons would even go whackjob on you.
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Dan_raven
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One of the big things I do with my company is arrange Alcohol Free After Prom and Project Grad parties around the region.

We have had a couple of incidents where our operators grab a beer before hand. They are no longer with us when they do.

But the strangest time was with a private school in Mississippi. They had an after Prom lock in, but they figured that if the kids were not going to be driving, there was no problem with alcohol.

They bussed the kids from the prom to the country club where we were set up. On the bus were two kegs and plenty of bottles. There was an open bar at the country club. Most of the kids, and their parental chaperones, staggered off of the bus.

They rented our Sumo suits for four hours. After half an hour we closed down because of the danger of drunks hurting themselves, us, or others.

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zgator
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Dan, if it was a Prom, weren't they underage?
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dread pirate romany
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I would definately have aproblem with the idea that leftover tequila could be stored in my kids' school kitchen. I ahve no moral objections to drinking, but I DO think it's wrong for teachers to drink on school grounds.

Oh, and my kids LOVE dark chocolate and sushi.

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Icarus
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But romany, you've addressed two issues. Can you separate them? There are usually more fridges on campus than just the kitchen fridge. What if the teachers have a party, and then the leftovers are taken home and never stored on campus?
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DreadPirateDamien
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dark chocolate and sushi?! What kind of pirate ARE you?

D.

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Dan_raven
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Zgator--yes. Very much so.

However, the parents included people like judges and politicos from the small Mississippi town, so there was not much we could do.

Except refuse to work there again.

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dread pirate romany
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Icarus- I agree that they are two seperate issues...however I do feel it is wrong for teachers to drink on school property, even if they take the leftovers. Even if they assume the students will never know, word could get around and then they have set an example some parents will have a real issue with. How would a Muslim/Mormon/recovering/fill in the blank parent feel if they knew their child's teacher was drinking on school grounds?

DPD- I am a VERY poncy pirate.

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pooka
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Dr. Xavier doesn't keep beer in the school fridge. I don't see why anyone else should. [Wink]
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Icarus
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quote:
Even if they assume the students will never know, word could get around and then they have set an example some parents will have a real issue with.
An example of what?

quote:
How would a Muslim/Mormon/recovering/fill in the blank parent feel if they knew their child's teacher was drinking on school grounds?
How would they feel if they knew their child's teacher was drinking at Bennigan's on Friday afternoon?

What I'm trying to get at is what makes the school grounds intrinsically special. And I'm not saying I feel it should be okay to drink on the property, I just want a rational set of reasons to feel one way or another. I guess I'm having a Xaposert kind of day. [Wink]

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Hobbes
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I'm favorably impressed with the way the admistration handled this. A letter that day admitting they'd done wrong, and explenation of what happened pulling no punches, and a very clear plan about what has and will happen to keep something like this from occuring again. Good job!

[Hat]

Hobbes [Smile]

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