Swampscott High Students Caught Using Drugs, Alcohol Banned From Activities

By Peg Rusconi, WBZ-TV

SWAMPSCOTT (CBS) — When the spring sports season begins later this month, a new drug and alcohol policy is scheduled to take effect at Swampscott High School.

Students who are caught using drugs or alcohol at any time during the calendar year, on or off school grounds, would be barred from extracurricular activities for a full year.

“We want kids in school,” said Dr. Judith Bevis, a parent. She said she’s collected about 100 signatures on a petition that urges more discussion.

“We’re asking the school committee to delay the implementation and consult experts in adolescent substance abuse to develop a policy that works and keeps our kids safe.”

WBZ-TV’s Peg Rusconi reports.

The American Civil Liberties Union is weighing in. In a letter to the school committee, ACLU attorney Sarah Wunsch wrote, “It is not educators, but parents, who have primary rights in the upbringing of children, and a policy in effect 365 days per year infringes upon those rights.”

Wunsch said a lawsuit wouldn’t be out of the question.

“If a kid is barred for something that had nothing to do with school and the kid cannot take part in debate club or glee club or whatever the extracurricular we will look at that and we may take action,” said Wunsch.

Schools superintendent Dr. Lynne Celli declined an on-camera interview, but told WBZ the plan was approved in October after weeks of public input. She says incidents over the last five years, including deaths of recent grads convinced school officials there’s a substance abuse problem.

Many parents in the pick-up line told us off camera they approve of the policy. But others worry it could keep troubled kids from the very programs that help them stay straight.

  • edwal

    so stupid parents who do not raise kids correctly are upset with new school policy well to bad
    as to ACLU where have you when peoples civil rights have been trampled on by wanna be cops as in TSA

  • emom

    WOW what does those helicopter parents want, for their darling little self centered, self righteous illiterate, bundles of joy , lets see, a drug charge, jail, hospital bills, or worse a tomb stone,, THAT’S RIGHT I SAID IT>> AFTER all how many kids do they want to see get hurt or worse. TALK ARE YOU KIDDING< they rather be their darn best friend,, go shopping and wear what they do, act like they do and do just as many stupid things as their kids do. Yeah they are just mad cause if they do get caught they will be upset if junior cant play on the football team, Suzie cant be the head cheerleader, and be at the game , Sammy cant go on the field trip mom and dad paid for , oh boo whoooooo ,,, whaaaaaaa Wahiawa,,, serves them right , after all how do the expect them to actually learn life’s lessons, by being rewarded for BAD BEHAVIOR. Yeah like that is a great and wonderful plan. How stupid can some parents be REALLY BRIGHT,,,, NOT…..

  • jaygee

    I guess that parents deserve a little blame when a high school has to call kids on their cellphones so as to wake them up in the morning for school and now in Swampscott we have some parents who complain that punishment for 15 year olds doing drugs & getting drunk is too severe. As for the ACLU getting involved, I would explain to Atty. Wunsch that these procedures would not be necessary if the parents of many kids knew how to raise them properly.

  • blackbear1

    As always, I find the presence of the ACLU troubling, as they are selective in their battles. Where are they on other issues re: the job of parents bring up their kids? Let the parents “RAise Up” their children to well represent family, school and community at all times and we won’t be having this discussion. EMOM, good observation re: missing football games, activities ,etc.

  • Ron

    “But others worry it could keep troubled kids from the very programs that help them stay straight.” – That is one of the most laughably ridiculous thing I’ve heard. It’s right up there with the myth that sports keeps your kids away from drugs. Never mind that for years the highest rate of observable drug abuse in schools comes from the student athletes.

    @emom: you’re exactly right. I graduated high school in 1999. At that time, the policy was that you were off the team if you were caught. Unless you were a really good player, the championship was on the line, and/or your parents were well-connected. Then Junior was given a stern glare and a finger-wagging (that the administrator would later apologize for). And as weak as that policy was, it’s appalling to think it continues to be diluted so we don’t hurt any kids’ feelings. Heaven forbid someone should suffer from disappointment, or learn the lesson that actions have consequences. Just wait until schools stop doing mock car crashes and replaces them with a kegger in the parking lot.

  • peter998899

    Banning students from extra curricular activities, which keeps them away from durgs and alchohol, only exacerbates the problem. Instead of banning them from participating, I recommend the following:

    1. Require all students caught using drugs or alchohol to participate in an aftershool activity.

    2. Require all students caught using drugs or alchohol to take the school bus to school every day. They cannot drive themselves.

    3. Take away the cell phones from these same students.

    There is nothing more important to students than their cell phones/ipods and the freedom to come and go as they please.

    Making them stay home, and taking away extra curricular activities that help prevent drug and alcohol abuse is the wrong solution.

    This school committee is clearly out to lunch when it comes to making our students better members of society. Get with the program. Punishment is in order, but I recommend you put in place a win/win punishment rather than a lose/lose punishment.

  • Karen Lockney

    MIAA already has some restrictions in place when a student is caught drinking or doing drugs, I would gladly agree to this “full year” policy if my son’s school implemented it. Anyone who thinks that student athletes do not partake in drinking and drugs is sadly mistaken. Students need to understand the consequences of their actions. Playing on a sports is a privilege, and losing that privilege is a valid consequence for underage drinking or doing drugs. As a parent of a teen athlete, I welcome as many tools as possible to help keep kids drug and alcohol free.

  • emom

    blackbear1 & Ron thank you yes when I was in school you messed up you where not able to go on field trips , sports or any events. And parents could never intervien and have special privialges.. I hate it when a parent gets the school to make exceptions, so unfair to those that work so much harder,,,
    I say no more and if they are caught make an example in the town with these kids, have them work the aa meetings, speak about their foolish mistakes and have them do community service to realize they cant get away with stuff, should teach a few of them

blog comments powered by Disqus
Taz Show
Download Weather App

Listen Live