Belarusian Police Seek To Control Rowdy High School Graduations

Belarusian police will be keeping a close watch on teenagers on graduation weekend.

MAHILEU, Belarus -- Education officials say that upcoming high school graduation ceremonies and celebrations in the eastern Belarusian city of Mahileu will be closely monitored by police, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Mahileu Education Department officials told journalists today that police involvement at high school graduation ceremonies is a normal practice and is designed to "preserve public order."

Rowdy celebrations fueled by excessive consumption of alcohol during and after graduation ceremonies have led to violence and criminal activity in recent years.

Education Department spokesman Viktar Ushakou said that teachers, other school employees, and parents will help police monitor the graduation celebrations both within the schools and in the streets and parks.

The Belarusian Education Ministry recommended that all high schools hold graduation ceremonies on June 11-12. During those two days the sale of alcohol will be limited in Mahileu.


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