Because of alcohol and marijuana use during a team sleepover on Aug. 27 at Warren Field, up to 28 members of the Astoria High School football team will receive disciplinary action to include forfeiture of the next three varsity football games, community service, mandatory drug and alcohol education, and forfeiture of the opportunity to win the Cowapa League title, school district officials announced Wednesday.
Additional consequences may result from a drug and alcohol investigation begun by the Astoria School District, said Craig Hoppes, district superintendent. Hoppes also said he has notified local police, who have begun their own investigation.
“Our first priority is the safety and wellbeing of our students,” Hoppes said. “We have taken appropriate steps to investigate this matter fully, and—depending on what our investigation tells us -- we will act to minimize the possibility that such a thing will ever happen again.”
Teachers and members of the coaching staff were unaware of the violations at the time they occurred, Hoppes said. The violations occurred after the coaches had turned in for the night.
In addition to whatever other consequences might result from the police investigation, the school district will impose the following requirements on the offending team members:
• Members will perform community service every Friday for the duration of the game forfeiture.
• Drug and alcohol education will be implemented during meetings every Monday.
• Grade checks, progress-monitoring and study hall will be carried out each Thursday through the duration of the football season.
• Forfeiture of the next three varsity football games.
• Forfeiture of the opportunity to win the Cowapa League title.
“We will closely monitor the behavior and performance of every team member as he conforms to these requirements and restrictions,” Hoppes said. “Any student who fails to live up to our expectations will lose his membership on the team.”
The district will also deal with each offender individually under the relevant provisions of the district athletic code, Hoppes added. The fact that the incidents involved drugs and alcohol, and occurred on school district property, could bring additional consequences and penalties for the students.
“These are extremely serious infractions that affect everyone in our community,” Hoppes said. “We will continue to ensure that our students are safe, and we will carry forward this new school year with every expectation of success. The vast majority of our young people are law-abiding, well behaved citizens, and we will give them the kind of school experience they deserve.”