As Tuesday night’s meeting neared the end of its third hour, several speakers berated the school board for not bringing up the issue of high school students’ behavior after the recent homecoming dances and homecoming game. Superintendent Margaret Keller-Cogan assured parents the reports of students’ drinking alcohol had not been dropped and were still being investigated by the district, police and district attorney’s office.
“Any individuals where we have evidence of wrongdoing we do follow through,” she said. “We follow the code of conduct. When I say we, I can tell you Mr. Leonardatos at North and Mr. Vitale at South take this equally as seriously and have spent an inordinate amount of time on this issue as has members of the Clarkstown Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office which is investigating this right now.”
There have been reports that on the night of their Homecoming Dance, Clarkstown High School North students were drinking and several got ill while on an after-dance party bus trip and had to be taken to a hospital. Sometime during this past weekend, North's turf football field was defaced with spray paint. The two football teams faced each other at South’s Homecoming game on Friday evening, which South won. On Saturday, Clarkstown South students went forward with their plans for activities including party buses after their Homecoming Dance.
“I think the fact that these buses could not be found as students were boarding them shows the purposefulness of the intent to have a good time and to not be able to have the police be able to find where these buses were boarding,” she said.
The superintendent acknowledged the district could not control the students’ choices but expressed deep concern about excessive consumption of alcohol.
“The biggest difference is that when students now are drinking they’re drinking to get drunk,” she said “And they’re drinking at a rate that is reckless and can endanger not only their health but their lives.”
One parents said this is the time for parents, families and the school district to take a stand and put a stop to this type of behavior. The superintendent said the issue is being taken very seriously and the code of conduct will be applied if individuals are identified but that those consequences cannot be made public.
Tomorrow, the two teams square off again at North in the football quarterfinals.