Boardman Schools: Underage drinking found at school event

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – WKBN 27 First News got a tip that Boardman High School students were involved in underage drinking at a school event last Friday.

We called the school district and started asking questions. Late Thursday afternoon, First News reporter Julie Bercik was the only TV reporter that talked with school administration.

Acting Boardman Schools Superintendent Timothy Saxton would not say how many students were involved in the incident, but he did say people at the game tipped the school off that students might be drinking. School principals were at that game and started tackling the problem right then.

The school district is not releasing the names of the students because they are minors. It is following board policy for disciplining them.

“We know kids are going to make poor choices, but we are an educational system. We want to help kids,” Saxton said.

The student handbook, which our station obtained a copy of, spells out what happens if a student is found using alcohol. It includes a maximum 10-day home suspension or expulsion. The policy states suspension can be reduced if the students and parents follow the administration’s recommendations.

“Our first recommendation is to cooperate and tell the truth. That is probably the most important thing. You want to get to the truth so you can make a good, informed decision on how to apply the appropriate discipline,” Saxton said.

He said the district is sifting through students’ stories and assessing what happened.

“If we think we have a serious situation here, we want to get the kid help,” Saxton said.

One resource the school has is its YES Fest, which is an event that encourages students to make the right decisions. It was held

“We are going to drive kids to positive choices. We know that there are temptations and negative choices out there but we want to get them to the positive choices,” Saxton said.

He said what happened at last week’s football game is another opportunity to teach students.

“Kids do make mistakes. It’s what you do after the mistake, make sure it is corrected, make sure you get them on the right path and let others see how kids can make mistakes, how you can get them help,” Saxton said.

There was no police report filed on the incident. Earlier this month, First News looked into a story involving alcohol at a Mineral Ridge homecoming dance. The school district is handling that investigation.

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