Nearly 40 teenagers are suspected of drinking alcohol after their Buchanan High School prom Saturday night, and five of them were cited for underage drinking, Clovis police said.
Following a night of dancing at Holland Park West for the school's prom, nearly 90 students took two party buses to In-N-Out Burger at Clovis and Herndon avenues in Clovis, police spokeswoman Janet Stoll-Lee said.
One of the bus drivers called police after seeing one student become ill and noticing that some of the students appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, Stoll-Lee said. When police arrived at the restaurant, they found that 38 students, all from the same bus, had had a sip or a couple of drinks of alcohol.
The students had placed the alcohol in water bottles to smuggle it onto the bus, Stoll-Lee said.
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Clovis police contacted the parents or relatives of the teenagers after investigating the incident, she said.
Of the 38 students suspected of drinking alcohol, five parents requested that their teens be cited on suspicion of being under the influence.
Clovis Unified spokeswoman Kelly Avants said that Buchanan High School officials would begin an investigation this morning into what happened and what the school can do in response.
If students were drinking during the prom, the school could discipline them -- including suspending or removing them from school activities -- for violating the education code, she said.
However, if drinking occurred outside of the school's event -- such as on the buses, which were chartered by the students -- then the district could remove students from extra-curricular activities if they had signed the code of conduct, she said.
Correction: The original story incorrectly reported that Clovis Unified School District could discipline students for drinking at the prom by suspending them or removing them from senior events for violating the school's code of conduct. Clovis Unified can suspend students for drinking at a school event as a violation of the education code. The story also incorrectly reported that if drinking occurred outside the event, the district would have no jurisdiction to impose discipline. Clovis Unified could remove the students from extra-curricular activities if they had signed the school’s code of conduct.