The students were sent home and then suspended for 10 days, which was reduced to nine days after they attended an alcohol counseling class. Both Lambert and Doe say they didn’t drink any alcohol and blamed another student’s water bottle they’d sipped during the dance, which “tasted strange.”
Their lawsuit contends that being forced to take the breathalyzer test amounted to an unlawful “search and seizure,” and also questions the validity of the results. The suit also criticized the severity of the punishment for what it says was a first offense for both girls.
The Weymouth student handbook lists possible consequences for violating school rules, ranging from early dismissal, parental conferences, detention, suspension from one to 10 days, and expulsion.
“This is a case about seven students who each made a stupid mistake at a high school dance and were then compelled to pay the consequences,” the school district countered in its legal response.
Weymouth school officials “take their responsibilities as public educators very seriously,” attorney John Davis wrote. “They promulgated rules and regulations designed to keep Weymouth students safe. . . . The public interest demands that they should not be hamstrung in protecting Weymouth students.”
Johanna Seltz can be reached at email@example.com.