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Support Teams, But Leave Alcohol Out of It, Board of Ed Says

Ahead of Friday night game, school board issues reminder about alcohol policies.

A message from the Madison Board of Education was posted on the school district website on Friday as a reminder that alcohol is illegal on school grounds, the district insists all fundraisers and events that include students are alcohol free, and the district does not in any way condone or support the efforts of any organization that allows the consumption of alcohol in the presence of underage students.

The message says there was a "disturbing trend" of incidents and complaints involving alcohol the past two years, and "the hope is that it is one that will not resurface this year."

Message to the Community from the Madison Board of Education:

Again this fall our students are having outstanding success on the track, fields and courts — our teams, our marching band, all are performing at a very high level. The board and administration welcome anything that boosts spirit and support for our programs and our students provided that it is done within the boundaries in which schools are required to operate.

Title 2C: The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice: 33-16 Alcoholic beverages; bringing or possession on school property by person of legal age; penalty reads as follows:

Any person of legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages, who knowingly and without the express written permission of the school board, its delegated authority, or any school principal, brings or possesses any aicoholic beverages on any property used for schooi purposes which is owned by any school or school board, is guilty of a disorderly persons offense.” L.1981, c. 197, s. 1, eff. Juiy 9, 1981

The Madison Public School District insists that all fundraisers and events that include our students are alcohol free. To this end the district does not in any way condone or support the efforts of any organization that allows the consumption of alcohol in the presence of underage students.

Over the course of the previous two years, we have had an instance of underage drinking that required medical attention and complaints of obvious adult public intoxication at some of our sporting events.

This trend is disturbing and the hope is that it is one that will not resurface this year.

Last March, through the cooperation of law enforcement and community organizations, Madison experienced its first presentation of the "Every Fifteen Minutes” program. A tremendous amount of time, energy and effort went into this program and it was extraordinarily well planned, coordinated and executed. Madison High School, juniors and seniors, experienced the full breadth of the devastation that can result from just a single bad decision. As part of this program, a mother from California who tragically lost her teenage daughter because of the willful negligence of an adult drunk driver shared her personal story. Her courage in the face of such tremendous loss was humbling and inspiring; those who heard her speak will never forget the experience. In May, a well-respected, well-loved community leader from a neighboring town was brutally struck down in the middle of the day also at the hands an
alleged adult drunk driver.

A community has an unwritten obligation to model responsible behavior for all of its children. Madison bears that responsibility and has fulfilled it admirably over the years. Our students work extremely hard in all their endeavors to achieve their individual and team successes. Let's make sure that nothing tragic happens to rob them of what they have earned.

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