Busted for booze on campus

Busted for booze on campus »Play Video
TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- Boozing up on campus. It’s an ongoing problem for our school districts. KEPR first told you about the drop in students getting suspended for bringing alcohol to school. Now, we're tracking an upswing for some districts.

It's a stage set for learning. These courtyards and hallways are posed for safety and education. But that can all be compromised by drinking on campus.

“It’s just, it's kind of stupid. I don't see why people would want to drink and get all messed up,” said Richland teen Zachary Hall.

Zachary Hall goes to Richland High. He's had a friend who snuck vodka into school.

“Well, it doesn't really surprise me. Because you know, teenagers and drinking, it’s tempting, said Hall.

I pulled the numbers. Suspensions and expulsions for alcohol violations in Kennewick are going up. Increasing to 24 incidents last year. It comes after a drop by almost 40% the previous two years. Richland and Pasco dropped slightly.

"There's probably more instances where people bring alcohol to campus than administrators actually realize,” added Hall.

And school officials admit numbers fluctuate. Saying the focus is on meeting each student's needs.

Officials tell me when administrators recognize a student is struggling, they refer them to counseling centers.

Steve Aagaard from Richland School District says anti-bullying initiatives help students learn to report bad behavior to teachers.

“It might be drug or alcohol abuse or anything like that. It's really important for the relationship to be in place,” said Richland School District Communications Director Steve Aagaard.

Students like Zachary hope for a change.

“You’re all messed up and goofy, so you can't really think or process anything,” said Hall.

Working to fight addiction on campus, to better serve your children.

Bringing any sort of alcohol to campus has serious consequences. Students can be suspended or expelled.