Two parents in Massachusetts may face a hefty fine or even prison time after they allegedly let their high school-aged teen throw an underaged house party, complete with alcoholic beverages, loud music and crowds of young people wearing no masks, police said. The party forced a local school to delay its opening and move to a fully remote learning plan, police said.
The unidentified parents and their underage child allegedly violated Massachusetts’ social host guidelines when they allowed a party to take place at their Sudbury home on Sept. 11, NBC Boston reported.
Authorities got the tip that a large party was taking place with underage drinkers after receiving a call. When police arrived at the Sudbury home at 10 p.m., they said they discovered 50-60 high schoolers at the party and many of the teens were not wearing masks or social distancing.
The officers said they found beer cans and cups filled with alcohol scattered throughout the property. Some teens ran into the wood, while others were found crammed in the basement with other partygoers. Some of the teens allegedly even threatened the officers, the Washington Post reported.
Despite there being no known cases of the coronavirus virus at the party, the aftermath of the social gathering has had a domino affect that has resulted in the delay of Lincoln-Sudbury High School’s reopening plan, so the entire student body could quarantine for 14 days. The last-minute decision was made by administrators from the district and officials from the Town of Sudbury Board of Health.
“Due to lack of information of who attended the event and inability to consult directly with those students, the risk to the school community cannot be adequately assessed,” read a statement released by the Board of Health.
Superintendent and Lincoln-Sudbury High School Principal Bella Wong told NBC Boston that it was estimated that 15 students ran into the woods and another 13 students gave police false information, which meant school and health officials were unable to identify, test, monitor and isolate students who might have been exposed to COVID-19.
“After the intensity of hard work and planning that has been done to be able to start school with students in-person, we are profoundly disappointed at this sudden change of plans,” Wong said to parents in a letter obtained by Wicked Local. “I know you must be as disappointed.”
The ordeal has caused some outrage in the community with many people condemning the parents on social media; however, police are encouraging residents to try to abstain from taking to social media.
“We encourage residents to refrain from making any more volatile comments on social media regarding this incident as we are holding those responsible for providing the venue accountable,” Sudbury Police Chief Scott Nix said in a statement.
The parents will face charges in Framingham District Court, while the child’s charge was filed in Framingham Juvenile Court.
Under the law, adults who enable underage drinkers can face up to a $2,000 fine or a year in prison.