Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


December 20, 2012

Public input sought on school breath test plan

School Comm to vote in January


As word of the proposal spread, the question of student freedom at school events came up on occasion, according to Costello.

“Once the student governments, students, and once the School Council had their questions around civil liberty kinds of things answered to their satisfaction — because they were concerned about that — they really didn’t have an objection in general,” Costello said.

Kelle Sutliff, a parent with two high school children and a third child at Doherty Middle School, believes the proposal does infringe on student rights.

“You’re going into something with [assuming] someone [is] guilty of something they haven’t done,” Sutliff said.

The problem lies more at home than it does at the school, according to Sutliff.

“When the bottom line comes down, it’s more of a parenting issue than a school issue,” she said. “You don’t need a School Council, or you don’t need an organization to say ‘You can’t do this,’ and then block it for everyone else. We need a spirited community, so kids feel comfortable and they feel safe.”


Both the School Committee and Student Council are soliciting feedback on the proposal, according to Superintendent Marinel McGrath.

The council is going to poll students about the proposal. Meanwhile, a space will be set up on the School Committee’s website for people to submit comments for the committee to review. The School Committee’s website is

The proposal is slated to come before the School Committee again on Jan. 10. If it isn’t prepared to take a vote at that time, the committee will go over it on Jan. 24.

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