Alcohol and Drugs at Private Schools

I am not going to mention the school. My freshman kid had their first big social gathering at school. My kid was told by other students about how students get drunk and use drugs at such gatherings on CAMPUS. My kid told me that they saw students who appeared drunk. I am aware that high school students drink and use drugs off campus but drinking on campus is a big concern. Isn’t there any supervision during such gatherings?

That username is suspiciously similar to mine…

Drugs and alcohol are around, just like at any other school. If you don’t look for them, you won’t be involved.


I was also confused about FA at the time, hence the username.

There seems to be a lot of “confusion” above on this thread.
Do kids drink at BS? Sure - it was our observation that there was more drinking at our local public high school. Another observation, at the local high school there is different kinds of drinking. For example, at kiddo’s school there was top shelf vodka during pre-gaming. Faculty was pretty much ignorant and indifferent. Same with drugs unless someone got sick. Even then, it depended on the situation. Check out your school’s Sanctuary policy.

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Thank you for your comment. I am aware that kids do drink at high school. My concern: my freshman was potentially exposed to alcohol at a school sponsored event.

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May I introduce as Exhibit A - any school-sponsored dance at any HS on any given weekend.

Without knowing all the details (which for privacy reasons we don’t need), I’m struggling to understand how this is unique to either your kid’s school or to boarding schools as a whole.


From the details of the story you mentioned, your freshman saw people who appeared to have been under the influence of substances at those events. I’d wager that they used them in their rooms and then went to the event; I can’t think of a situation in which you wouldn’t be caught if you tried to actually bring them to, say, a dance.


My kid was “potentially exposed to alcohol” at a “school sponsored event” (field day) around grade 6/7 in public school.


Interestingly, at the public HS my sons attended, EVERY student was breathalyzed before entry, and at the exit of every school dance.

Really??! That’s crazy - I’ve never even heard of school’s breathalyzing students - what state?

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It was partly hyperbolic. Again, the OP is saying that some students were allegedly under the influence “on campus” not necessarily the venue of the event. Depending on the school, “on campus” can be the parking lot, the fieldhouse, the woods, the dorms.

But I will add that I’ve never heard of being breathalyzed before entering and exiting the venue, particularly at a public school

Happens before dances/formals/prom at our public school (in CA) too. This is entirely typical of all schools in our area.


I was a chaperone at the 8th grade end of year party. Each bag was searched for water bottles. Two bottles were filled with vodka. Disturbing perhaps, but not a surprise. There is nothing strange going on at your child’s school.

I discussed with my own kids ad nauseum health issues as a result of getting drunk, doing drugs, etc… When I discovered my sophomore had used pot, he got to spend a few joyful hours, under my supervision, researching the negative health effects of marijuana use, etc… and, as an added bonus, got to learn all about what happens when a kid gets caught driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. We also discussed the ill effects of harder drugs. My son may have possibly been mortified when when we had conversations about consent, after his sister ratted him out, having seen him talking to a girl at the school bonfire. He was probably more mortified when I gave him a box of condoms. I had all these conversations with my daughter too.

My point here is make sure they know about this stuff. They are going to experiment and unless you keep them captive in your home, a lot of it is out of your control. So make sure they have the necessary knowledge.

ETA: Kids at public and private schools experiment with drugs, alcohol, and sex. This is typical teen behavior.


I am not trying to be vague or hyperbolic. I am not sure which part is vague; I didn’t expect kids to start the school year this way. I want to share what my freshman observed without disclosing the school or talking about specifics. Drunken students at the event talked to my freshman; they were polite but visibly drunk. I am not saying this is unique to the school but surprised that it happened at the event.

As most of you noted, the best I can do is to talk to my kid about the dangers of engaging in such behavior.

I was not criticizing you for it, merely restating what you yourself said in the very first sentence of the first post on the thread

I directed that at myself

I’ve said several times on this forum that kids are far less supervised at boarding school than you imagine so you should make sure to talk to your kids about drugs, alcohol, and sex before you send them off to school.

However if I compare both my kids private schools there was way less drinking and drugs then at the public schools friends go to. And in MA there are several public schools that are breathalyzing kids on the way to prom, etc. That’s becoming fairly normal.


I don’t think it’s the same school, but I heard the same thing from my kid. My point is that it happens everywhere and honestly you just have to have conversations with them about choices they make and consequences and hope for the best. I think it’s shocking when you first hear it because you start to believe the school’s enforcement might actually be working :wink:

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Massachusetts, and their graduating classes had 450+ students. It was a big undertaking each time.

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Notes from the expert - my kiddo says that if your student is not exposed to alcohol and drugs (like they’re around) before university, they will be (insert verb/adjective here that may or may not start with the letter f). Kiddo says honestly was not exposed to enough at DA :laughing:

Consider exposure to alcohol and drugs part of their college preparatory education.


Ummm…I’ve been in the alcohol industry for 30 years…

I guess I did something right in terms of parenting. :wink: