Mooney parents avoid charges in football fete
By Denise Dick
Four Cardinal Mooney High School parents who admitted bringing cigars and champagne onto school property apologized to the students, faculty and alumni at an assembly Friday, but no criminal charges will be filed.
The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown asked city police to investigate the incidents that occurred at the school after the football team’s state championship Dec. 2.
The police investigation found that four adults admitted bringing cigars and champagne onto school grounds when the team arrived from the game that was played in Canton, Nick Wolsonovich, superintendent of schools for the diocese, said at a Friday news conference.
The city prosecutor’s office declined to press charges against the adults, leaving it to the diocese to reach a resolution, he said.
“The parents were very remorseful,” Wolsonovich said.
They got caught up in the excitement of the win, he said.
The parents appeared at a school assembly Friday afternoon, which was closed to the press.
“They read letters of apology to the school for the situation that they caused, and they did an authentic job of conveying their remorse, regret and deep apology,” the superintendent said.
He said he was proud of the school community and that the school is ready to move on from the incident.
A state championship celebration that had been planned for last month was postponed when the allegations of cigars and champagne surfaced. It hasn’t been determined whether it will be rescheduled, Wolsonovich said.
The parents, whose names weren’t released, also will contribute to an anti-drug and alcohol program at the school, he said.
Wolsonovich said the police investigation found no evidence of a plan to consume the champagne, adding that no cups were found.
“They wanted to shake and spray it,” he said.
The cigars were present during a bell-ringing celebration outside the school. Four students were directed to serve a one-day suspension, but about 40 students served the suspension in a move of solidarity, the diocese has said.
The champagne was brought into the school locker room, and the whole team was present.
Wolsonovich said that although some people believed the diocese was making too much of the incident, the school has rules and tobacco and alcohol are prohibited on school grounds.