• Nearly 60 underage drinkers busted at Swampscott party


    SWAMPSCOTT, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Police say 58 underage drinkers are being summonsed to court after an underage drinking party involving Swampscott High School students -- many of whom are student athletes.

    It happened at the Windsor Avenue home of a Swampscott High School student Saturday night.

    For the students who are also athletes, the court charge could affect their playing time and their future. For students who have other offenses, it could go on their criminal record. And the homeowner, a parent, faces charges as well.

    Neighbors called police, and when officers arrived, they say they found students fighting in the street, along with beer, hard alcohol, and clear alcohol disguised in sports bottles.

    It's unclear whether parents knew about the drinking, but some knew about the party because police say some came to pick up their children up.

    "A lot of the kids there weren't drinking, they were just socializing but they're getting in trouble anyway," said Jill Levin, a parent of a Swampscott High School student. "The bigger issue is they need something else to do and somewhere else to congregate."

    Many of the students are student athletes, including members of the varsity baseball team. Their coach tells FOX 25 they'll be suspended and it will affect their playing time.

    MIAA rules dictate that on a first such offense, student athletes must miss at least 25 percent of the season. For the baseball players, that means missing roughly four games. On the second offense, it's a greater punishment, and schools have the authority to issue stricter punishments including losing a title like captain or being kicked off a team altogether.

    "It's really sad that these kids have to resort to alcohol and so forth," said David Weaver, a parent of seniors at the high school. "I hope they can get the help they need."

    And it's not just the students who are in trouble. Because of Massachusetts' social hosting laws, the father of a student who lives at the home where the party took place faces charges of procuring alcohol for minors.

    Parents say it's important for both students and parents to talk about the dangerous of drinking with their children, and how it can affect their futures.

    "You have to be connected with your kids," said parent Anna Bakhshyan. "They have to be busy enough to do other stuff."

    Rick Kraft, a member of Swampscott's school committee, said in a statement that the large incident was disturbing, but not unique.

    "Our school district has established a chemical health policy, based, in part, on MIAA rules, for addressing the issue,' the statement read. "It involves individual counseling with the students and turning this into educational opportunity."

    Most of the students will be summonsed to court this week.

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