Possession of alcohol bars CCA students from graduation ceremony
Seven students were prohibited from participating in the graduation ceremony at Canyon Crest Academy (CCA) this year after alcohol was found in their belongings at a Senior Week dance, senior CCA staff reported.
About 80 CCA seniors rented a large party bus to take them to the dance, where they disembarked, many leaving their bags on the bus. When the party bus returned to pick up the students after the dance, police officers conducted a search and found the alcohol, said Elloise Allen, Canyon Crest assistant principal.
“We breath-alyze so kids come sober to the dance,” Allen said. After the dance, students board their rented buses or limos, and that’s when trouble often begins, she said, adding that the police have the right to search.
“Six kids took the fall because their names were identifiable with their materials and belongings,” Allen said. (After this interview with Allen, it was reported that a seventh student, a boy, was also prohibited from participating in the graduation ceremony, but specific details could not be confirmed by press time.) Consequences included being prohibited from participating in other Senior Week activities and not walking at graduation.
One parent said the students are also facing misdemeanor charges, but that was unconfirmed as of press time. “They were breaking the law on multiple levels,” Allen said.
Allen said CCA staff is convinced that more than seven students were involved, with so many on the bus. “It’s not going to be something in isolation,” she said. “But not one of the other kids stepped forward or was willing to share information.” She said the seven students who faced consequences also refused to name names.
“We had a student die in the community because of alcohol,” she said, emphasizing the seriousness of the offense.
But a parent who chose to remain anonymous called it a “stupid decision” to bar the students from walking.
The parent said the alcohol belonged to other kids on the bus but was stashed in uninvolved students’ bags in at least two of the seven cases, but administrators would not accept that defense. “So the guilty kids skated free, and the innocent were punished,” the parent said.
All six students whose bags were found containing alcohol were girls, the parent said. “Why? Because boys don’t carry bags,” the parent said.
Common are reports of students carrying bottles of alcohol onto limos and party buses under their jackets or bringing a case of water bottles onto the rented vehicle with several bottles in the case emptied, marked and then filled with vodka.
The seven students were 17 and 18 years of age. The misdemeanor charges carry more weight for the 18-year-olds.
Allen said other schools in the San Dieguito Union High School District have experienced the same problem before and have had to ban students from walking at graduation. “It doesn’t happen every year, but it has happened in the past,” she said.
Hundreds of graduating seniors at Canyon Crest wore white ribbons at the graduation ceremony to protest the decision by CCA’s administration to ban the six students from walking.
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