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Vt. School Issues Apology in Wake of Breath Test

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Officials at an elementary school in Brandon, Vt., have apologized to parents for administering breath tests to an entire 6th-grade class following reports that some students had consumed alcohol on school premises.

Bertram D. Coolidge, principal of Neshobe Elementary School, admitted that the tests should not have been administered without first contacting parents, and that they should have been given only to students actually suspected of consuming alcohol.

Only 6 students were suspected of drinking alcohol from bottles left by people using the schoolyard after school hours, but all 64 of the school's 6th graders were required to take the test, Mr. Coolidge said.

"We apologized to the parents and said it would never happen again,'' he said last week.

School officials administered the tests last month with the help of the local police. The tests revealed no alcohol use by any of the students, according to Mr. Coolidge.

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