Online photos of students drinking leads to punishment

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LINCOLN (AP) – Online photos of students drinking beer led to punishments at Mattanawcook Academy, officials said.

Ten students were suspended from extra curricular activities after school officials saw photos of the teens with beer, said Michael F. Marcinkus, superintendent of School Administrative District 67.

The photos, posted on the Web site, MySpace.com, showed students at an indoor party on or about St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, officials said.

The suspensions forced a senior school play’s cancellation and hobbled some extracurricular clubs and varsity sports teams.

School officials took action partly to enforce school policies, but mainly to protect the students, Marcinkus said. “We don’t want kids exposing themselves to sexual predators. That’s our main concern,” Marcinkus said.

MySpace.com made national news in January when two Texas men were found to have used the popular social-networking site, which has more than 50 million members, to contact underage girls for sexual purposes.

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