Two parents and their teenage child are facing charges after a large student party forced a Massachusetts high school to close for two weeks, officials say.
About 60 students from Lincoln-Sudbury High School, near Boston, attended the “crowded indoor and outdoor” party that “involved alcohol” on Sept. 11, according to a letter sent to families from Superintendent of Schools Bella Wong. Students were not wearing masks or social distancing, according to a news release from the town of Sudbury.
When police were called to the party, about 15 students ran into the woods, the letter says.
Police got names from 32 students at the party, but 13 of them turned out to be fake, according to the letter, meaning at least 28 students known to be there are “unaccounted for.”
No positive COVID-19 cases connected to the party had been identified as of Sept. 13, the town says. But because officials don’t have information on who attended the party, “the risk to the school community cannot be adequately assessed.”
“If these students had been identified they could be requested to be isolated from school, monitored and tested,” Wong wrote in the letter.
The Sudbury Police Department reported the party to the town’s Board of Health, which required the school to use remote learning for 14 days after the party, officials say.
The school plans to return to its plan for “in-person hybrid” learning on Sept. 29, it says.
Now, police tell NBC News on Tuesday that two parents and their teenager are facing criminal charges in connection with the party.
The charges were “filed with the Framingham District Court and the Framingham Juvenile Court for the parents as well as the juvenile,” Sudbury police Chief Scott Nix told The Boston Globe in an email confirming the investigation.
Specific charges and names have not been released, The Boston Globe reports.
Nix told NBC News the parents violated the state’s social host law, which says anyone who intentionally or knowingly supplies alcohol to underage people can be fined $2,000, spend a year in prison or both.
In Massachusetts, indoor gatherings are limited to 25 people, outdoor gatherings in enclosed spaces are limited to 50 people and outdoor gatherings in unenclosed spaces are not subject to capacity limits. The state also requires the use of face masks.
In the letter, Wong reminded everyone to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms.
“On the assumption that students involved are more likely juniors or seniors I asked if we could bring in just 9th and 10th graders,” the letter said. “The answer is no, because we don’t know that no younger students were involved or that students involved were not siblings of younger students.”
Wong also emphasized the importance of safety measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Every person, student or staff who comes to school must be able to trust every other person coming to school is doing what they can to prevent the spread of COVID to protect themselves and every other person,” the letter says. “If one person assumes risky behavior upon themselves it is not fair or safe to bring that risk upon others in a shared community.”