Southridge school

Southridge school

Controversy over teen-drinking waiver scuttles grad party

Richmond sports complex pulls pin on event for South Surrey school

An after-grad party for a group of students from the prestigious Southridge private school in South Surrey was cancelled by the Sportstown BC complex in Richmond over teen drinking.

It was a controversy over the wording of a waiver document that said the facility would not be held responsible for “intoxication and/or alcohol poisoning” or any injuries resulting if a drunken student fell down.

According to a Sportstown manager, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the post-graduation event was planned from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. this coming Saturday (June 23) in the Sportstown meeting and party room that can hold up to 30 people.

The whole point of renting the room was to ensure the kids had a safer place to party, the manager said.

While the rental room is fully licenced, there was no plan to serve liquor to the teenage grads, the spokesperson said Tuesday.

According to him, parents were asked to sign the waiver releasing Sportstown from responsibility if a grad got injured as a result of consuming alcohol, because teens have been known to drink at parties, even when booze is banned.

“There’s a good chance someone is going to sneak in drinks,” the spokesperson said, noting it is not practical to search kids for hidden drinks.

“I really don’t want to be patting down teenage girls [before allowing them in to the party room].”

It appears that someone – possibly a parent – objected to the wording of the waiver and tipped off a Vancouver newspaper.

After learning the party would be the subject of a story, Sportstown cancelled the party, the manager said.

“It ain’t worth the hassle,” he said.

The head of Southridge school, Drew Stephens, said the South Surrey school was not involved with the event and did not approve of it.

“The school does not endorse in any way, shape or form consumption of alcohol by underage students,” Stephens said Tuesday.

“I wouldn’t endorse it even if they were of age.”

Stephens said the school organizes two graduation events, one on the school grounds and one off-site, neither of which permit any alcohol for students or their parents.