Loading articles...

No breathalyzer at Northern Secondary prom after students challenge test in court

Students at Northern Secondary School will not have to take a mandatory breathalyzer test at their prom this week after two students filed a court application asking a judge to rule on if it infringes their constitutional rights.

The court challenge was filed Tuesday in Ontario Superior Court by lawyers working on behalf of Brett Gorski and Simon Gillies, who head the school’s student council.

Legal documents obtained by CityNews show that because the matters will not be adjudicated prior to the school’s prom, which takes place on Thursday, previous practices by the school regarding monitoring student intoxication will be kept in place this year – including the presence of a paid duty officer, security guards and the searching of bags, purses and coats.

The hearing is scheduled to take place in the fall.

In April, Northern Secondary School, at Mount Pleasant Road and Eglinton Avenue East, adopted a plan to make its students take a breathalyzer test before they can enter their prom at the Eglinton Grand on May 29.

The mandatory breathalyzer has the support of Northern Secondary’s parent council, but students who believe their rights are being infringed upon asked the Canadian Civil Liberties Association to weigh in.

On May 9, the CCLA wrote to the school board and school principal urging them to abandon the plan on grounds that it’s unconstitutional and an invasion of an individual’s privacy and dignity.

Malvern Collegiate Institute has had a similar policy in place for 14 years and said it has worked to curb drunkenness and ensure a safe event for students. Other schools opted to make students take a test when they’re suspected of being impaired, the CCLA said.

Endorsement of Stinson J May 23 2014 Timetable