Should kids be punished at school for off-campus drinking?

Kristi King, wtop.com

BETHESDA, Md. – Underage drinking is a serious offense, but some parents whose kids got caught drinking think a school principal who is punishing their children is overstepping his authority.

Fourteen students at Walt Whitman High in Bethesda have been suspended from extracurricular activities after the principal discovered pictures on Facebook of them drinking at an off-campus party.

Police broke up that house party Dec. 10 when dozens of children were charged with alcohol possession by minors.

Principal Alan Goodwin thinks adding to those penalties is appropriate.

“It doesn’t always make them happy but at least it’s an effort to make them safe,” he tells The Gazette.

School principals in Montgomery County have the discretion to punish students as they deem appropriate for illegal activity off school grounds. But some parents tell Channel 7 that’s not fair. Some also believe their children are being unfairly singled out because students at the party from other schools have not been punished by their schools.

What do you think? Should students be punished at school for something that didn’t happen at school? Post a comment in this story, comment on WTOP’s Facebook Page or use #WTOPTalkback on Twitter.

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