NT students suspended for drinking at football game

Five students were suspended Friday, Sept. 5 after a New Trier football game due to underage drinking on school property.

The students were suspended for three days. “The suspension impacted me because I’ve never been in any trouble with the law or school before. It was scary having to go through this process. Regret is not the right word to describe my feelings on the situation. I am disappointed, but do not regret my actions at this point,” said the student.

“We were all being stupid and drank at the game,” he continued, “every person involved was not inhibited by any other substance.” According to the student, none of them were selling drugs at the game.

The event paralleled recent drinking arrests at Maine South High School, in which two 16-year olds were charged with underage drinking at a football game Sept. 12, according to the Park Ridge Herald-Advocate. One of the teenagers was also charged with disorderly conduct.

Assistant Principal Scott Williams could not be reached for comment on the subject of the announcement or the suspensions.

According to an administrative memo distributed to adviseries Monday, September 8, the new behavior guidelines were released because the fall sports season started.

Coincidentally, however, the notice was released shortly after the students were suspended.

Randall Oberembt, New Trier’s athletic director, said “There have not been significant changes in how we have supervised events at New Trier over the years.”

“When there are instances that require the school to enforce legal or school disciplinary policies ,our goal is to ensure and support student safety. Safety is the main goal; not only for our students but our guests, parents, and children who come to spectate our stadium events.”

Oberembt also said, “we do not plan to radically modify the way that we supervise New Trier stadium events. All of our stadium supervision is planned on an annual basis. Everything from the number to ticket takers to the number of supervisor staff; this includes faculty, PPS staff, and uniformed officers.”

According to Oberembt, New Trier has always received support from student resource offices and plans to continue receiving support from them. New Trier will also continue to bring in additional staff from the Northfield campus to help supervise the events.

According to the notice from the administration students must have a student ID card with them in order to enter the stadium. Moreover, students are not allowed to bring in any liquids or liquid containers to the stadium.

Students are no longer permitted to bring backpacks into the stadium. “The school has used the event to begin their own anti-substance abuse campaign,” said the student.

The announcement, according to Oberembt, does also apply to all faculty and parents who are in the stadium as well.

“New Trier is trying to catch up to rules that are already in place at other major events,” said Oberembt.

“We do this for a couple of reasons, one is that we want everybody who is in that environment to feel safe. We also contend that there is no reason where someone needs to bring a back pack or cooler into an event. We do offer concessions by Girls Club and Triship if people are hungry or thirsty,” Oberembt continued.

The student said, “I feel that the entire situation has been completely blown out of proportion. Teenagers drunk at a football game should come as no surprise to anyone. If kids aren’t going to come drunk they’ll come high or they will go home and get drunk or high.”

The other New Trier students who were involved could not be reached for comment.