A limousine ride and dinner at a downtown restaurant Monday evening put a group of ninth-grade etiquette and manners students to the test.

Waiters at the restaurant tested the manners of about 40 students from Eisenhower Junior High during dinner at Mullboon's, 515 S. Seventh East."The public has a negative view about teenagers," said home economics teacher Chris Moore. "They don't seem to be mannerly anymore."

To help change that perception, Moore has been teaching students in a teenage living class how to act in more formal, social situations. "We've talked about eating in an exclusive restaurant - what fork to use, what knife to use, putting coats on and off, getting out of a car, telephone etiquette - and the climax was taking them to a restaurant."

Moore said she had a hard time finding a restaurant that would help with the experiment in social refinement - an experience that might reinforce her observation about the negative public view about teenagers. Then Mullboon's accepted the challenge.

"Mullboon's rolled out the red carpet and added extra staff to help us," Moore said. "They don't take reservations, but they staged it for the kids, then they seated them at the table. The manager and vice president of the company were there overseeing the tables."

The students raised their own money to pay for the evening and were shuttled from the school to the restaurant in hired limousines.

Moore prepared a rating form she gave to the waiters and waitresses who served dinner to the students, then graded the students on how well they made their orders from their tables and figured the 15 percent gratuity, among other things.

On a scale of one to five, "Some got 5s and most of them were 4s," Moore said. "The kids were really nervous, but they were perfect."