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A Special Message From 'The 35' to Dixon

The 35 students who were not let into the prom that they arranged and raised funds for have a special message for the community.

The 35 would like to make sure that the public understands these five main points:

  1. The bottle found was not confirmed to have been alcohol -  The nearly empty (very few oz.) vitamin water bottle was found by the bus driver and allegedly "smelled" like alcohol.  The employee told Principal Barsotti the bottle smelled like alcohol, but whether or not alcohol was in the bottle is unknown, it was never tested or turned over to authorities.
  2. Prom 2012 Dance Contract was broken – As a part of the 2012 Prom, we the students and parents signed a dance contract which states “Students suspected of being under the influence will be subject to evaluation by DHS Administration and/or local law enforcement, including a breathalyzer exam. Students who are under the influence will have their parents contacted for pick-up.” The school administrators at the prom failed to uphold their end of the contract, none of the 35 students were breathalyzed or evaluated by administration and parents were never contacted.
  3. Our safety was at risk – From 7:30pm-10:45pm, every one of the 35 students were forced to wait outside of Elk’s Tower in Downtown Sacramento, unsupervised and without access to bathrooms at least for the first hour. We were also not allowed to wait in the lobby until parents arrived to pick us up.
  4. Parents were not contacted by school officials – As a part of the dance contract and school responsibilities, parents were not contacted regarding the incident which involved their 35 children left outside of Elk’s Tower and unable to enter their prom. Students used personal cell phones to find rides home from Sacramento to Dixon and some wandered around downtown unsupervised trying to find access to bathrooms. Our safety was at risk during the time we were waiting outside.
  5. Breathalyzers were not offered – In order to demand our innocence of not drinking any alcohol, the 35 students demanded to be breathalyzed by Principal Barsotti.  Mr. Barsotti refused to breathalyze the students  even after some parents offered to bring breathalyzers to the scene or call local law enforcement.  Overall, We were wrongfully denied entrance into our Junior Prom and the school Principal violated the contract as well as our safety.  The driver of API Limousine in Sacramento also left us stranded with some of our property still in the limo-bus. We understand this is an on-going investigation by school officials, but would like to make the above facts clear in order to prove our innocence in these matters since we were not given the chance to Saturday night.  We understand the concern if it would have been a bottle of alcohol, if we were all aware of drinking happening on the bus or if we were drunk but we were not given the chance to prove otherwise. We all begged for a breathalyzer exam, and never received one.

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Heidi Steiner Arnold May 02, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Dixon High School, You should be proud of the intelligent leaders you are producing, even when they use it against you.
Miranda May 02, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Thank you for posting this with the clarifications. This is what us students, the 35, needed, to make our main points clear. Thanks!
Sharie Sprague May 02, 2012 at 03:18 PM
These "kids" have consistently made better decisions and demonstrated better leadership than the principal.
brook stiler May 02, 2012 at 03:54 PM
"we students"
Dixon Mom May 02, 2012 at 03:56 PM
I totally agree with Heidi and Miranda. I'm proud of the 35.... You have all taken a very grown up approach to this and for that I commend you. What happened to you wasn't just unfair, it was cruel. It makes me sad that you were let down by someone who is supposed to be a supportive advocate for students. You have your entire lives to deal with the "Mr.Barsottis" in this world: people who are given a position of authority and leadership and don't have a clue. It's a shame you were exposed to it at such a young age. Keep your chins up. Your friends, family, and the community are on your side.
Dave Mitchell May 02, 2012 at 04:22 PM
This guy needs to resign immediately.....I do not want this kind of "leader" running our high school.....and I presume all he will be doing will be to issue damage control statements.
Backattheranch May 02, 2012 at 04:30 PM
DHS continues to show us parents & students that the wrong people are in charge. It really doesn't surprise me the lack of follow through with DHS Admin. I don't have kids that attend DHS anymore but if I did this momma bear would be demanding answers. Good luck and I hope everyone takes responsibility and accountability. I hope the kids get their prom back at the schools expense. Stand tall and proud kids and fight for your rights!!!!!
kayla walker May 02, 2012 at 05:07 PM
The Dixon school administration has never held up their end of the bargain. At the senior ball of 2008 we were given a breathalyzer before allowed to even enter without signing a contract we were told we would have to or no admittance. I'm sorry for u 35 who were denied access thanks to yet again the backwards thinking of the DUSD
Nanci LaRue May 02, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Right on Heidi! RIGHT ON!
Master May 02, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Brook, they're STUDENTS, not college graduates or professionals. Cut them some slack on spelling or grammatical errors.
Dane Besneatte May 02, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Mr. Barsotti could learn some things from these students like integrity, discretion, compassion and, mostly, good leadership. Maybe if Mr. Barsotti were made to repay the students and their families for the costs and expenses they are out for the Prom he would get the point, maybe. Mr. Barsotti sets a poor example of a 'leader' and his obduracy in once in a lifetime milestone situations is a detriment to the learning experience of the students. I thank the students for posting what they have and doing so in a straight forward, just the facts, manner. It is very telling.
brook stiler May 03, 2012 at 12:11 AM
A college degree is what it takes for someone to form a correct sentence? Sorry. What part of Appalachia is Dixon in?
Master May 03, 2012 at 12:54 AM
If you were really as intelligent as you try to act, you would have understood my point without taking it so literally.
Yvonne Hernandez May 03, 2012 at 02:28 AM
That DHS 35 this is just stupid someone did bring that bottle but dont want to get in trouble. Its just stupid that someone will actually bring that hello think there going to check you. Just plain STUPID
Joanna Luna May 03, 2012 at 02:55 AM
"The 35" students signed the school's contract in good faith while the Principal and other school administrators knew the agreement was not enforceable because they had no working instrument to test for alcohol. That was deceitful. We teach our kids at a young age not to lie, steal or cheat yet, in my opinion, that is exactly what happened to these kids; by denying them entrance to their prom they were robbed of the hard-earned money they used to buy tuxedos, dresses, flowers, make-up, etc. and they were cheated out of a once in a lifetime event. It would seem Mr. Barsotti failed to perform the basic tasks assigned to someone in his position -- looking out for the safety and well being of his students. Parents, students and community members have lost faith, trust and confidence in Mr. Barsotti as a leader and as a principal.
Emily G. May 03, 2012 at 04:49 AM
I agree with Brooke. A "special announcement" from Dixon's young leaders should have been checked for grammatical errors. Perhaps my teaching certification sways my judgement towards expecting basic grammar skills from high school juniors. If they're expecting more grammar courses in college to re-hash what should be ingrained by middle school, they'll be left in the dust (or stuck in remedial courses). The situation with the prom was certainly mishandled not only by the limo company but also the school administration. It will be interesting to see how school officials intend to run damage control on the incident.
brook stiler May 03, 2012 at 05:57 AM
They got a "pass" in Jr hs. and should have paid more attention. Do you try and "act" less intelligent than you are?
brook stiler May 03, 2012 at 06:03 AM
Who's in charge in Dixon? The kids...and the squeaky wheel parents of those kids. That is why priorities are socializing and sports. Keeping sports going was the biggest concern here 4 years ago when the district was in trouble. These bimbos will go on with their sub par education worrying about the next big boy-girl get together and the local "popularity contest." it's their party, and everyone else gets to watch.
Janice May 03, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Grammar used to be taught in Elementary school right after learning to read and along spelling. And actually...my mother was teaching me before I started school when I was learning to speak. But that is part of the problem now...too many parents don't know or practice proper grammar!
Jamie Williams May 04, 2012 at 12:28 AM
A few years ago the same thing happened at a prom in St. Helena, Ca. It might have been the same bus company, and it was believed that the driver wanted the night off and didn't want to deal with a bunch of "kids", so he planted the alcohol. School Regulation gives a bus driver too much authority. These bus-charter company's hire EX CONVICTS. Give me a break! Grrrrr!!!
Jamie Williams May 04, 2012 at 12:43 AM
Too many parents don't know how to talk to their kids. As in any situation, it's easier to communicate when you speak the language. Get real. This is 2012.
Jamie Williams May 04, 2012 at 12:46 AM
I am so sorry that you had to go through this. And I am so proud of you for standing up for yourselves. It's not about the cost of the dress, or the bus, or the tickets to the prom.... it's about Abuse of Power. And there are way too many adults that think they can take candy from a baby (so to speak). Go Gettem' Girl!
Battering Ram May 04, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Ya Brook Stiler, I bet you're perfect and have it all figured out. If the parents were in charge I can guarantee you this crap wouldn't be going on all year. Most of the kids in this group are the top scholars and scholar athletes of DHS. If that makes me a bimbo then then I'll take that as a compliment.
brook stiler May 04, 2012 at 05:24 AM
I wish I had it figured out. I know some of those kids as I taught some of them. On the whole I think they are decent, good kids. Some of them might be fairly erudite at this point, but being the top is not very high when you are competing with a class where half of the students are at grade level for reading. When many don't get the grades they expect, they and their parents go after the teacher. Some of the smartest and most capable are actually the worst to deal with. This "crap" as you call it, is lamentable, but it does not involve the academics of the school. It does reveal priorities.
M.Owens May 05, 2012 at 07:01 AM
I appreciate your and Brooks concern for our youth and their grammar skills ... however.... your comments are a bit off topic...... and at this point... do you really think ANY of the 35 deserve or warrant any more judgement? Please stop.... I am pleading with everyone who has an ugly or judgmental comment..... Please stop and lets find away to move forward in a positive manner! AND I apologize if my grammar is not up to par.... it has been a tough week and I am not concerned with anything other than helping my daughter to heal and grow from this experience! Thank you!
brook stiler May 05, 2012 at 08:52 AM
My apologies Mrs. Owens. Cassie is a good student, but more importantly, a decent and respectful person. I have seen the twitter accounts from a number of the kids and there are many that are full of what I'd call blood lust over someone's entire career. It wouldn't be the first time I've seen that sort of self righteous, gloating hate from someone in that particular class. One of those noble students did whatever she could to make my life miserable as a teacher and a day doesn't go by without remembering it. You should be proud of Cassie as she actually stood out for not being of that mentality. I wish there were more like her.

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