Published 10 May 2011
Oregon House of Representatives has recently passed a bill on allowing alcohol in high school. The new bill states that alcoholic beverages can be used in public education culinary arts classes under adult’s supervision and only if safely stores when not in use.
Several other states, including New York, Virginia and Massachusetts, already allow for the use of alcohol in culinary arts classes. In the past a bill was passed to allow for the use of alcohol in higher edeucation culinary classes.
Oregon Liquor Control Commission Government Affairs Director Tom Erwin said as long as the curriculum does not include the tasting of wine, there are no laws being broken regarding the minimum drinking age of 21.
“Because the University does not offer culinary arts courses, the bill would not have a direct effect on alcohol policies. The University would still maintain its current policy of not allowing alcohol consumption for minors,” Erwin added.
However, the possibility of the EMU installing a bar as part of its remodel underscores some of the same concerns with allowing alcohol in culinary arts classes for high school students: finding a way to adequately enforce alcohol use for minors.
The bill passed through the House and has since moved on to the state Senate, where it is currently being looked over by the Education and Workforce Committee.
House Education Committee representative Betty Komp said she has serious doubts whether schools can keep the alcohol in a safe place. She has dealt with too many situations with children with addictions.
The bill would allow school boards to make the decision on whether or not to allow alcohol in their district and specify the circumstances under which the alcohol may be used.
A parent or guardian’s signature would be required for students to participate in the class and alternate projects would be made available to those who do not have parental consent as told to Emerald.