Archived Story

Officials respond to school bus drinking incident

Published 6:00am Sunday, February 16, 2014

Albert Lea school officials want parents to know they take alcohol and drug use by students seriously.

Superintendent Mike Funk said Friday that the district officials this week have addressed an incident of two teenage students allegedly drinking on a school bus Tuesday.

“Actions do have their consequences,” he said.

The superintendent is unable to speak about the details of the case under privacy laws, but he was able to say the matter was not left untouched.

Funk said it would be next to impossible — such as searching every student who gets on a bus — to prevent them from bringing alcohol on board a school bus. It could happen again. If it does, those students, too, would face similar disciplinary measures, he said.

In addition to school discipline, the students could face legal penalties. The Albert Lea Police Department forwarded the case to the Freeborn County Attorney’s Office for possible charges.

Albert Lea Police Chief Dwaine Winkels said no citations were issued as the situation was unusual. They weren’t caught containers-to-mouth, for instance. That’s why the county attorney will have to decide what steps to take.

He added drinking on school property or school-related property is rare in Albert Lea.

Freeborn County Attorney Craig Nelson said his office always prosecutes underage drinking when citations are given. He said he will study the details of this case.