Seven suspended at prom for being under influence

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SIGNATURES — SAD 17 Director Curtis Cole, from Norway, signed a number of copies of the warrants for the upcoming budget meeting and validation referendum at the May 21 board meeting. The warrants, if approved by voters in June, will set the school budget for the Fiscal 2019 year.

PARIS — The SAD 17 Board of Directors were told at its May 21 meeting that seven students were suspended from Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School after they arrived at the May 12 prom under the influence of an illegal substance.

The issue was brought to the table by Director Bob Jewell who asked why there was no disciplinary action information included in the board’s packet about the incident. Many board members commented later that this was the first they had heard there was a problem.

Principal Ted Moccia told the board that seven students “engaged in illegal activities” prior to the prom and that the activity “came to light” during the prom.

The students were subsequently suspended from school, and there were police referrals done on “other individuals” who were involved, he said. Moccia said he met with the parents of the the suspended students on Monday, May 21, when the students returned to school. The students are receiving counseling, he said.

While the report was all Moccia said he could respond to, some directors later questioned the event again.

Calling it “a dance that turned out horrendous” Director Elizabeth Swift asked how seven young people could get into the prom while “obviously” under the influence of a foreign substance.

Because the event is involves disciplinary action, Superintendent Rick Colpitts said any further discussion was inadvisable.

In other news, the board tabled a request from Cindy Goddard, head softball coach at the OHCHS and assistant softball coach Dan Daniels, to approve a trip to Florida in the spring of 2019 for the OHCHS varsity softball program to participate in the Disney Wide World of Sports “Fast Pitch Softball Spring Training” program.

The request to table the item was made by Harrison Director Kathy Laplante who said she questioned the number of school days (four) that the six-day trip would involve, how much it will cost, what students would be going and other concerns.

Colpitts said he agreed about the school time lost and because of that an agreement had been made previously to ask for the trip only once in a three-year period. Moccia said the students have to make up school work, the cost is covered through fund-raising efforts.

The item will be taken up again at the board’s next meeting on June 4.

The board also heard a report on the mice issue at three areas in the OHCHS that shut down the main kitchen earlier this month. Inspectors are expected back at the school today, May 24, to reinspect the area.

The board also signed the warrants for the upcoming budget meeting and validation referendum that will set the Fiscal 2019 budget if approved by voters in June.

ldixon@sunmediagroup.net