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Westwood High cracks down to prevent drinking at game

Posted by David Dahl, Regional Editor September 24, 2008 05:00 PM

A second local high school is cracking down on underage drinkers at its football games.

In a letter sent out to parents Wednesday, Westwood High School Principal Emily Parks said that some students attended last Friday’s game “under the influence of alcohol,” forcing the school to take disciplinary action and adopt new game-day policies banning outside beverages and ordering all students to enter through one gate.

“We hope that implementing these changes will encourage students to make good choices and meet our expectation that the football games be an alcohol-free event,” Parks said in her letter to parents. “Our goal, as always, is to keep students safe.”

These changes at Westwood High come just over a week after reports of widespread drinking at a Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School football game. At that game, on Sept. 12, at least one student had to be hospitalized with alcohol poisoning, four were cited by police, and seven suspended.

Administrators there responded by asking that all students be accompanied by an adult to the school’s next game last Friday and are now in the midst of crafting a plan for future games.

John Antonucci, the superintendent of Westwood schools, told the Globe today that Westwood High’s problems last Friday seemed to be far less widespread. No students had to be hospitalized, he noted. And Parks, in an interview with the Globe, said that school administrators only had to take disciplinary action against “a couple” of students.

Still, Parks said, other students were likely drinking last week and escaped detection – something she hopes will not happen this Friday, when Westwood hosts Tri-Valley League rival Hopkinton.

-- Keith O'Brien

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