MILLBURN, NJ - The Millburn football team captured their first victory on September 15, but it was not all smiles around the high school. An ambulance had to be called during the game to tend to an alleged intoxicated Millburn student. Unfortunately, this was not the lone incident in or around Millburn recently.
Just moments before Randolph’s season opener against Livingston High School, an empty beer container was thrown from the student section. Upon further investigation, several more alcohol containers were found in the bleachers, according to superintendent Jennifer Fano. At least 75 students gave blood samples to avoid an automatic five-day suspension. Refusal to take a blood test was considered a positive result.
While the two incidents are unrelated, they both spark the same conversation about monitoring students at football games.
Principal Dr. Miron, Vice Principal Keenan, Athletic Director Bifulco, and the MHS security guards discussed the issue shortly after the Friday night game in an effort to resolve the problem.
The group deliberated their options, which came down to one simple question: “What can we control?”
An elimination of all Friday night athletic competitions was discussed, as well as implementing breathalyzers into the night game security procedure. However, the administration chose not to resort to these more extreme measures immediately.
Instead, Miron and his team are trying to stay away from “lumping everyone into the same boat,” as Randolph High School did administering breathalyzer tests.
In tune with their zero-tolerance policy, Millburn has strengthened their security procedure. In an email to the MHS students and parents, Miron banned all bags and bottles at any weekend athletic event.
“This, to me, is a pretty good first step, but it’s not going to solve everything,” Miron told TAPinto. In his email, Miron also said, “The school - and I - assume much of the responsibility for student behavior. We can do a better job controlling behavior on school property as well as in detecting problems. However, some of the behavior [off campus] is the responsibility of the parents and students themselves. I ask that all of us do a better job.”
It seems as if the students have, for the most part, welcomed the procedure change with open arms.
“I think it's within the school’s jurisdiction to do this,” said an MHS senior. “It's annoying, but no student necessarily has the need for bottles or bags at the game.”
The afternoon football game on Saturday drew a very scarce and sober student section. School administration recognizes that Friday nights are the problematic environment. For now, the elimination of Friday night games and implementation of breathalyzers into the security procedure are still on the table for Millburn High School should the problems persist.