Parents, teen face criminal charges after party forces school to go remote

September 23, 2020
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    Two parents and their teenager in Massachusetts are facing criminal charges after hosting a party.

    NBC News reported that the family is being charged in connection to a gathering that sparked COVID-19 concerns and resulted in the town's entire high school to postpone a return to school for in-person learning.

    Scott Nix, Sudbury police chief, said the residents were charged with violating the state's social host law, which holds that "whoever furnishes alcohol" to underage drinkers can face a fine of up to $2,000, imprisonment for up to a year, or both.

    The chief reported that the adults were charged with the misdemeanor in Framingham District Court. Their teenage child faced the charges in Framingham Juvenile Court.

    On September 12, the gathering caused attention throughout the Boston suburb. The board of health announced that police broke up a "large party involving approximately 50-60 Lincoln-Sudbury High School students."

    According to the board's press release, it did not say if the party was outdoors or indoors.

    "The police reported the students were not wearing face masks or practicing social distancing," the release said.

    When police arrived at the party, some teens fled to the woods, while others provided false names.

    While there were "no known positive COVID cases involving these students at the time of this release," a lack of information on who attended the event made it impossible to consult with the teens, and "the risk to the school community cannot be adequately assessed," the board of health said.

    "As a result, the Board of Health and Lincoln Sudbury Regional School High School (LSRHS), in consultation with the school physician, collectively decided to delay in-person learning," the town explained.

    On September 15, the high school planned to start school with in-person classes and virtual learning. After the party happened, it went all-remote for the following 14 days.

    Lincoln-Sudbury Superintendent Bella Wong told families she was "profoundly disappointed at this sudden change of plans."

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