PARIS – Seven students were suspended from Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School after they arrived at the May 12 prom allegedly under the influence of an illegal substance, according to information at Monday night’s SAD 17 board meeting.

Principal Ted Moccia told the board that seven students “engaged in illegal activities” prior to the prom, and it came to light during the dance.

The students were suspended from school, and local police have been notified about other individuals who were reportedly involved, he said.

Moccia said he met with the parents of the suspended students Monday, the same day the students were allowed to return to school. The students are receiving counseling, he said.

Calling it “a dance that turned out horrendous,” Director Elizabeth Swift asked how seven young people could get into the prom while “obviously” under the influence.

Because the event is still under investigation, Superintendent Rick Colpitts said further discussion was inadvisable.

The suspensions were discussed Monday night after Director Bob Jewell asked why there was no information about the suspensions in the board’s meeting packets. Many board members said they had heard nothing about the suspensions until Monday night’s meeting.

In other matters, the board tabled a request from Cindy Goddard, head softball coach at the high school, and assistant softball coach Dan Daniels, to approve a trip to Florida in the spring of 2019. The varsity softball program is requesting to participate in the Disney Wide World of Sports Fast Pitch Softball spring training program.

Harrison Director Kathy Laplante asked that the matter be tabled, saying she questioned the four school days involved in the six-day trip, how much it will cost and which students would be going.

Colpitts said he agreed with concerns about the school time lost and mad a previous agreement to ask for the trip only once in three years.

Moccia said the students have to make up school work, and the cost is covered through fundraising.

The item will be taken up at the board’s next meeting June 7.

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School Administrative District 17 Director Barry Patrie of Waterford signs copies of the warrants for the 2018-19 Oxford Hills school budget votes at Monday night’s meeting in Paris. (Leslie H. Dixon/Advertiser Democrat)

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