Girard students face charges from NYE party

GIRARD — Some Girard High School students will face charges in Trumbull County juvenile court and suspension from extracurricular activities after a New Year’s Eve party with alcohol.

The party was at the home in the 1700 block of Oak Street of school board member Jamie DeVore. Police determined that DeVore did not supply the alcohol to the students, and charges are not likely against him, said police Chief Frank Bigowsky.

Officers were called to the residence shortly past midnight, on New Year’s Day. When they arrived, they discovered a 16-year-old girl passed out in the passenger side of her father’s vehicle — with her father “attending to her.” Police said the father had not been attending the party, their reports state.

The girl was taken to Tod Children’s Hospital by paramedics. Bigowsky said the girl is reported to be fine and is back to school.

Officers reported they tried to speak with several adults outside the home including DeVore, but received only vague responses.

Bigowsky said Wednesday that officers then investigated and determined the alcohol was not supplied by the adults.

“Detectives have located the source of the alcohol, and there will be charges filed in juvenile court,” he said.

Bigowsky said it is unclear when those charges will be filed. He said officers also will consult with prosecutors in Girard Municipal Court to make sure no charges are warranted against adults who were present.

“We don’t want to give the impression of a cover-up or someone being given special treatment,” he said.

Schools Superintendent Joseph Jeswald said some students who attended the party will face school district sanctions. He would not say how many students would face sanctions, or who they are.

“The district has an alcohol and other drug policy that deals with extracurricular activities. There were some students affected by this policy,” he said.

Jeswald said the affected students will not be permitted to attend any extracurricular activities as either spectators or participants.

Jeswald said any board members or adults at the party did nothing wrong. “They were trying to make sure the kids had a safe place to go instead of being out and about at other places. I commend them for their efforts,” he said.

Bigowsky suggested, “If you are going to have a party for teens, don’t mix it with a party for adults. ... If you are going to have a party for kids, you have to have supervision. Kids will be kids.”

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