WEST NEWBURY (CBS) – Sixteen student athletes have been suspended after posts on social media surfaced showing them with a bottle of vodka during a team sleepover at a police chief’s home.
Pentucket High School’s varsity girls’ soccer team had just played a tournament game for charity on Saturday when they gathered at a Groveland home for the team sleepover. It’s the home of Boxford Police Chief James Riter who has two daughters on the team.
“I’ve known most of these girls since they were little,” the chief told WBZ on the phone. “My wife and I thought we were watching them pretty closely.”
But at some point, out came a bottle of vodka smuggled in by one of the girls and the resulting cell phone picture popped up on social media.
Superintendent Jeff Mulqueen says an anonymous report led to an investigation. The result was 16 girls suspended for four games, or a quarter of their season.
A statement from Mulqueen says he’s “working closely with students and families through these difficult circumstances.”
Since it was at his home under his watch, Chief Riter says he must take ownership of Saturday night’s team misstep, although he’s not sure what more he could have reasonably done.
He says he’s always told his daughters that “they must face the consequences of their actions — and they are now learning what that means.”