Residents of a St. Charles East Side neighborhood have been expressing outrage over a Nov. 2 house party where St. Charles police took into custody 71 people, including 65 juveniles. The homeowner and four juveniles were cited, while police contacted parents to come fetch the other kids and take them home.
If the chaotic scene police came upon when they arrived at the Persimmon Drive home during that party was enough to enrage neighbors, the fallout afterward also has inflamed some parents, some of whom believe St. Charles East High School has shown favoritism in regard to disciplining student athletes caught up in the incident.
The favoritism claim, however, is not true, according to Dr. Donald Schlomann, the superintendent of schools for St. Charles Community Unit School District 303.
Speaking to a reporter before the start of Monday night’s Board of Education meeting, Schlomann said student athletes are required to sign on to a Code of Conduct governing their behavior and how they represent themselves, their team and their school. The detailed Code of Conduct also applies to students participating in other extracurricular activities.
“In general the consequences for an athlete — they’re held to a different, higher standard than our students who are not,” Schlomann said. Students who are not involved in extracurricular activities are not required to sign on to the Code of Conduct, he said.
The code requires a student attending a party where drugs or alcohol are being used, whether or not he/she consumes those substances, to report him/herself to the district “and/or leave” the party. The idea, Schlomann said, is to encourage the kids not only to adhere to the standard of conduct by getting away from the problem, but also to show integrity by reporting their own conduct when an infraction occurs.
“If you do neither one of those, there are going to be consequences,” Schlomann continued. “And I can tell you right now that no one (at the Nov. 2 party) self-reported.”
As a result, “those students who are athletes that were involved in this incident are receiving consequences that students that maybe are not athletes are not receiving,” he said.
When St. Charles police arrived at the home about 9:15 p.m. after receiving a report of an underage drinking party at Persimmon and Hunt Club drives, they found “numerous cars and juveniles” moving around the block. It got worse as they approached the home, where they found “a large number of juveniles fled through the back door. Other juveniles were seen climbing out of windows.”
Lisa J. Lorenzini, 50, of the 200 block of Persimmon Drive, was cited with social hosting, a local ordinance punishable by a fine of between $250 and $500. Four St. Charles teens, ages 15, 16, 17 and 17, were charged with possession/consumption of alcohol by a minor, police said. Another 65 juveniles, ages 14 to 18, were held in the home until their parents or guardians were called and then arrived to take them home.
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