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Friday, October 3, 2008

Madison Police Bust 24 Minors at Beer Party

Looks like school board members will be earning their pay next month...

Last night's Madison Daily Leader confirms what anyone with a scanner knew last weekend: Madison police busted a really big booze party in town at 3 a.m. Saturday and caught a couple dozen youngsters enjoying cold barley soup and other fruits of the harvest. Some of the kids involved were Madison High School athletes, so some sober kids on the bench are going to get some playing time...

...assuming, of course, that the school follows File JFCH of its District Policy Manual, accurately cited in Elisa Sand's report last night. Once any athletes (or debaters, or marching band members, or participants in any other extraacurricular activities) 'fess up or are found guilty, they face the following penalties:
  • First offense: sit out 1/8 of the total regularly scheduled events of all activities the student is currently in or, if the student isn't currently in any activities, in the upcoming season. In other words, if there's a basketball player who isn't doing football or golf right now, that player takes the hit on 1/8 of the basketball season. The student also gets to sit through a "program of instruction" at Community Counseling Services (hey kids, you think sitting through world history is no fun? Ha!).
  • Second offense: sit out from all activities for 12 months (reduced to 6 weeks if you undergo assessment and any recommended treatment).
  • Third offense: sit out another 12 months.
Now at the top I mentioned the school board earning its pay. Really, if things go the way they should, the school board shouldn't have to lift a finger or hear a complaint. The school will level the prescribed punishment impartially on all of the students involved. The students involved (and their parents) will accept their punishment, spend the extra time hitting the books, swear off the hooch, and commit themselves to not letting their teams down again. The coaches and remaining players will accept the reduction in their rosters and soldier on.

That's how things work in the perfect world. But if there are kids determined to avoid the consequences of their actions, maybe even parents helping them parse the above policy for a loophole to let them keep playing... well, that's when the school board might get sucked into something it shouldn't. Let's hope that doesn't happen.

Keep it simple, MHS, O alma mater dear: be fair, be tough, and make the rules stick.


  1. I am curious why the owner's of the house where the party was held are not responsible for anyting. Yes, the kids broke the law and need to be punished, without interference from the parents, but where does the responsibility of the "hosts" parents lie?

  2. Yes, that is a good question. Especially since the owner of the house was Roy Lindsay I know a former teacher...(not sure if he still is or not?). The funny thing is the party occured right across the street from Bud Postma's house. Talk about poor decisions cmon kids pick a better place then that. The old Postma circa 1987 or so would have said got enough beer and babes? if not get me a babe and I will go get you some more beer? The same man that told his sturdents for years gotta marry for money and then learn to love them!

  3. I haven't read the article, but were the Lindsay parents home while the party was going on? I've known them for years and would be surprised if this was actually sponsored by them.

  4. The Lindsay parent's were not at home, infact, they were not in town. They left their 11th grade daughter home for the weekend....without supervision?!?

  5. I will be watching to see how punishment is applied. I hope too that rules are upheld the way they are supposed to be, regardless of who gets hit by them. I wonder how many star athletes or cheerleaders were involved. I too think that Lindsay's would never have condoned this, but evidently they placed too much trust in their daughter.

  6. Why does emphasis always get put on athletes? Had there not been athletes there, would the public have even heard about this? Athletes are still kids, they make mistakes like the rest of the student body, but for some reason when they "mess" up people talk more. So often as adults we forget that we were once young, and we all made mistakes too, some more severe than others, but mistakes were made. Life is full of lessons!

  7. I guess athletes get mentioned because they are usually the ones who get the headlines. This also affects band, plays, choir, debate, etc.

    But it also seems that sometimes the punishment is meted out according to social standing or lack thereof. So I will be waiting to see how punishment is dealt with if it affects the sports teams, plays, etc.

    And yes, kids mess up. But they also then need to accept consequences of said messing up.

  8. Emphasis on athletes? Well, call it the flip side of a culture (local and beyond) that puts such emphasis on athletes' achievements. And in terms of practical policy, the school doesn't really have much policy in terms of disciplining kids not in activities, so the school news is what happens to the kids in activities.

    Anon 3:00 makes a good point: it shouldn't matter who the kids are or what activities they do. Everyone needs to take responsibility for his/her actions... and as far as we know, that may be exactly what all the parties involved are doing.

  9. When I was in High School, myself and my teamates kept out of trouble for sake of the team. We knew beforehand what would happen if we were caught drinking, so we never did it. All of us were afraid to let our teamates, coaches, parents, school and community down.

    The fact of the matter is these kids know up front what happens if they get caught drinking. Now they need to face the music. I agree with Cory, this should be a simple process, but I doubt it will be.

  10. When I was in high school way back in the fifties, there was group of us that had unsupervised parties once month. There was no alcohol or smoking present, we served sloppy joes, chips, and kool aid. At 10PM the coach would call the home of one of the atheletes to see if they were home and if they weren't the parent would tell where the party was and that was the second place the coach called. After that we would all pitch in and pick up the paper cups and plates, put the left overs away, shut the record player off, and put away what ever board games we had played. About that time in my case my parents would pull into the yard with the other kids parent behind them to pick up their respective kids. This went on until we graduated, and incidentally the majority of the parties were in rural homes where there weren't next door neighbors or even neighbors across the road. I don't know why kids now can't party like that and be trusted. But then back then I don't know of any parents that would have left a high school kid home alone, for an extended period of time. I think the reason that atheletes get mentioned more when a booze party gets broken up, is because they are supposed to be in training.

  11. 24 kids at the Lindsey house? Sounds like a family reunion to me. Are we sure they weren't all brothers and sisters? I can guarantee that whichever Lindsey sibling hosted the party, there is a price being paid today because they are a strong family with good discipline standards (maybe a little too trusting, but aren't we all?). At least they weren't driving around.


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