9 Middle-Schoolers Nabbed With Alcohol

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Nine students were caught yesterday in the gymnasium of a Montgomery County middle school in possession of a noxious brew, police said: vodka, wine, tequila and rum, mixed with various fruit juices and concealed in water and soft-drink bottles.

Carol Weiss, principal of Redland Middle School in Rockville, told parents in a letter that she has recommended suspension or expulsion for the students involved.

Weiss said two students alerted her at 7:40 a.m. that they suspected that a group of students were drinking alcohol in the bleachers while waiting for classes to start. She rounded them up and alerted police.

Weiss determined that three students, all in the seventh grade, had brought the drinks from home and shared them with six classmates. Police said they did not know how much alcohol was in the four containers that were confiscated.

Alcohol citations were issued to five seventh-grade girls, three seventh-grade boys and one sixth-grade boy.

Police said the case would be handled by the Department of Juvenile Services. Underage possession or consumption of alcohol on school property is punishable by a fine of $500 for the first offense.

Educators and police often note an increase in truancy, parties during school hours and underage drinking toward the end of the academic year. On April 22, Montgomery police broke up a party in Silver Spring that reportedly involved 26 underage drinkers from several schools.

-- Daniel de Vise

© 2008 The Washington Post Company