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April 2, 2014

Swampscott deals with 58 underage drinkers

SWAMPSCOTT — School administrators were not commenting yesterday in the wake of the summonsing of 58 juveniles, many from Swampscott schools, suspected of underage drinking at a party at 46 Windsor Ave. Saturday night.

A complaint was also filed against an adult for allowing the drinking at his home, according to police Chief Ronald Madigan. No names were released.

District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, who has made curbing substance abuse among young people a top priority, released a statement stating that he can’t comment on this specific case. But he added, “Since the beginning of my administration, I have worked closely with school and police departments to provide students and their parents with information about the laws on underage drinking and hosting parties so that they can make informed decisions. “

Blodgett aide Carrie Kimball Monahan noted that the district attorney makes it a point to reach out at this time each year and warn about drinking and the car accidents that are often the tragic by-product of proms and graduations. Madigan noted that there were a number of cars in the vicinity of the Saturday night party, presumably driven there by the party-goers.

School Committee Chairman Rick Kraft noted that the school’s Chemical Health Policy is being applied, and some of the students have already met with school officials. Teens caught drinking or taking drugs can be declared ineligible for extracurricular activities for a time. Counseling is also part of the program.

“I know they’re going through that process,” Kraft said. “It’s an opportunity for something good. For students to learn to make better choices. ... It’s important that kids understand the consequences of their actions.” On the other hand, he sees no reason for Swampscott parents to panic. “This pretty much happens in every town.” Young people inevitably want to test their limits. “It’s part of adolescence.”

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