Dances Banned at High School in Walpole, Massachusetts, Over Drinking | NECN
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Dances Banned at High School in Walpole, Massachusetts, Over Drinking

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    The principal of Walpole High School in Massachusetts says he's cancelling dances for the rest of the school year because students are drinking too much. (Published Friday, Sept. 9, 2016)

    Kids at one Massachusetts school will miss out on dances this year.

    The principal of Walpole High School says he's cancelling dances for the rest of the school year because some students are drinking too much before, getting drunk and having to be escorted off the dance floor.

    "I think they just don't think they have a solution yet, and they're trying to find a happy medium and they started at one end of the spectrum," said Tom O'Leary, a father of a student at the school.

    Parents who spoke with necn at the Walpole-Marblehead football game Friday didn't like the idea.

    "I've been very involved in the town and on the coalition talking about the drug awareness, and we've discussed it many times," said mother Aicha Kelley. "The worst thing you can do is have kids not be involved in school activities."

    "I cannot in good conscience continue to provide a venue that students use as an opportunity to drink alcohol," Walpole High School Principal Stephen Imbusch told necn in a statement. "It is a shame, because the majority of students go to dances just to have fun, and are able to do so without alcohol."

    "By his own admission, it's only a few people that caused this whole problem," O'Leary said. "So why punish the rest of the school?"

    Walpole's police chief says it's the schools decision, and that typically, police have a presence at the dances in case there are problems.

    The principal says the ban doesn't include prom, where he says there have never been any issues.

    Additionally, Imbusch says it's been difficult to find teachers willing to give up their Friday nights to chaperone students behaving this way.

    Still, some parents think it will just lead to bigger problems.

    The principal says they only typically have two to three dances per year.


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