COHASSET (CBS) – Cohasset Middle School and Cohasset High School are shifting to remote learning for the next two weeks after an underage house party was attended by a large number of students.
In an email on Saturday, Cohasset Public Schools Superintendent Patrick Sullivan said local police informed school officials about a house party at Jerusalem Road in which around 20 Cohasset students were not wearing masks or following social distancing protocols.
Police say some of the teens were picked up by their parents, but several ran off into nearby woods when officers tried to get their names.
Officers also found the homeowners inside the house and issued them a $500 fine for violation of Gov. Charlie Baker’s COVID-19 Order #54, exceeding the 10-person limit regarding indoor gatherings.
After talking with town health and safety officials, Sullivan said the schools decided to move to remote learning to protect the safety of the students and faculty from the possible spread of the coronavirus.
The schools will begin remote learning on Monday, Nov. 16.
If there are no further issues, the schools plan to go back to a hybrid-learning model on Monday, Nov. 30.
“While any reversion to full-remote learning is undesirable, we believe that limiting this temporary restriction to the middle and high school best balances obvious safety concerns with our district’s ongoing commitment to the maximization of in-person learning hours,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan recommended those who attended the party get tested.
Norah Cunningham, a junior at Cohasset High School, says it is not fair that all students should have to learn from home because of the actions of a few students.
“Being in class is a better opportunity to get help from your teachers, because sometimes there’s, like, a virtual barrier.” Cunningham said.
Fellow classmate Phoebe Fusco said she doesn’t think the students who attended the party had any bad intentions, but it was a lack of good judgement.
“I do think it was irresponsible, and it could’ve been prevented really easily,” Fusco said. “They just weren’t thinking.”
For people in town, the reaction is mixed.
Donna Morgan lives on Jerusalem Road, where the party was held.
“I really don’t understand how people make those decisions.” Morgan said. “There’s rules to follow right now, and when we don’t follow them, we pay the consequences.”
Meanwhile, Cohasset resident Rick Churchill says the closure is excessive. He thinks the best thing for students right now, is for them to be inside classrooms.
“The kids need to go to school. They need to be in a structured environment,” said Churchill.
Elementary schools in Cohasset will continue with their current plan of a hybrid model.