Student: Dance monitors ‘ill-equipped, untrained’

It’s pretty easy to get away with drinking at Homecoming, and many students have, according to several Wenatchee High School students.

Students say that it’s all too easy to attend a school dance while intoxicated. “I walked into the dance, past administration, stumbling,” an anonymous girl told The Apple Leaf. “Maybe we’re just really good at hiding it…”

This wasn’t her first time attending a dance while under the influence. At Homecoming this year, only three people out of her group of 18 were sober. “The people that are monitoring the dance are obviously ill-equipped, untrained, and unable to detect any sort of intoxication,” she said.

I walked into the dance, past administration, stumbling.”

— Anonymous Girl

Students spoke of ways or strategies that they hide drinking: chewing gum, spraying perfume, avoiding adults, using mouthwash, eating before the dance, and going with students who don’t have a reputation for drinking.

She estimates about 75-

Junior Brenda Castaneda
Junior Brenda Castaneda

percent of people at Homecoming this year were “intoxicated on some level.”

In an informal survey of English teacher Jake St. John’s AP classes, The Apple Leaf found that out of 30 students polled, 18 thought that alcohol abuse is a problem at WHS. Students estimated between a low of 35 percent to a high of 50 percent of students consumed alcohol before or during the Homecoming dance this year.

Junior Brenda Castenada expressed her concern with the lack of administration attention to alcohol use at school dances. She mentioned that there is little effort by the administration to encourage kids to make good choices. “This year at Homecoming, I didn’t hear about any attempts to stop alcohol use,” Castenada said.

Likewise, junior Melissa Guzman also said she was concerned with the level of drinking at Homecoming, and the administration’s apparent lack of effort to stop it. “It’s definitely a problem, but I feel teachers and adults choose to not do anything about it,” Guzman said. “So they (students) get away with it.”

When asked about his opinion on drinking at Homecoming, senior Zachary Smith said that he believes a fair amount of people consume alcohol at the dance. Although he personally doesn’t approve of drinking, Smith said that there will always be at least “one person” in a group that will become intoxicated. “I have a hard time believing all 2,000-odd students are alcohol free,” Smith said.

If walking past administration wasn’t enough, intoxicated students from the anonymous girl’s group even had a conversation with administrators on duty. “There was an issue with the way we were dancing and a few students who were intoxicated physically went up and talked to the administration,” she said. “If that doesn’t say something about how ill-equipped they are, then I don’t know what does.”