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Students drunk in class

UNITED STATES: One in six American high-school students admits to having been drunk in school, and students who drink are more than four times more likely to carry a weapon with them.

A recent survey, by the California-based Josephson Institute of Ethics, also found that teenagers who have been drunk at school are nearly twice as likely to have access to guns as their classmates.

Michael Josephson, the institute's president, said alcohol is attractive to troubled youth because "there's this kind of mid-numbing feature to it".

The survey revealed that about 16 per cent of high-school students have been drunk in school. And while 14 per cent admitted taking a weapon to school, 48 per cent who had been drunk at school did so.

Alcohol has not been expressly blamed in any of the major shootings in American schools, including three that have occurred in the past month. But several of the young gunmen are alleged to have used alcohol and drugs.

Jon Marcus

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