Federal Way school officials see rise in student alcohol use

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boozeFEDERAL WAY — Retail stores started selling alcohol in Washington last year. Supporters say that helped create jobs and made it easier for consumers to access liquor. Now some worry access may be too good, especially for teenagers.

Federal Way School District officials believe students are behind a number of alcohol thefts, and that the booze is making its way into their schools.

“It’s a trend we don’t want to see going up. We’re seeing an increase of alcohol use on campus and it’s raising some alarms,” said Vince Blauser, executive director of secondary schools for the Federal Way School District.

Thirty-five Federal Way High School students got busted for drinking at school last year. So far this year, that number is already at 22 and some students aren’t surprised.

“I heard they put it in their drinks at lunch and hide it in their water bottles or keep it in their lockers or bags,” said freshman Andi Jack.

“I’ve seen even freshmen drinking during class,” said Ty Wright.

Last week, the district sent a letter home to parents warning them about the problem.

“It’s definitely alarming, but I’m glad they are getting it out there so us as parents can keep an eye out to make sure our children aren’t involved in that,” said mother Nicole Johnson.

With plenty of older students driving to school, parents say it’s a serious situation.

“I’m concerned for not only their safety, but the safety of everyone who’s attending school. They might be coming and going under the influence. That is very dangerous,” said Johnson.

The district also expelled a student last week from Federal Way High School after they said he brought an unloaded gun to school. He was originally investigated for alcohol possession when school officials found the weapon in his backpack. They said he had no ammunition.

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  • Ben

    First of all let’s do some good reporting here and use more than 1.6 data points before we establish a new trend. 22 students this year “already” does not mean that more will get caught. This is what we call sensationalizing and gross over generalization. Second…I graduated in 2005 with an academic sscholarship to 3 of 3 D1 schools applied to and if was the same then as it is now. Be real people. I got my booze, the kids will get their’s now…and you know when you went to school it was happening too

  • hill of beans

    It is much easier now to steal hard liquor here. I can't walk through Walmart with out knocking over a display of it. This is why some people didn't want it in general stores. Kids don't have to disturb there parents bottles,they can just go pick up a bottle. Instead of remodeling, to try to have some kind of containment, it is all over the store. They must be making enough money from the sales. People are always going to be stealing things,but making a supposed controlled substance this easy to take is not what I expected. And I agree with Ben, that kids are drinking now and back whenever.

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