Cohasset middle and high schools will be remote for the next two weeks following an underage student party Friday night at a private residence where the homeowners have been fined for violating the state’s COVID-19 safety standards for social gatherings, officials said Saturday.
The two schools will be remote starting this Monday until Monday, Nov. 30, when they will go back to the current hybrid model if there are no further complications, Superintendent Patrick Sullivan said in a statement.
Sullivan said the “reversion to full-remote learning is undesirable,” but necessary to address “obvious safety concerns."
Cohasset police said they responded at about 11 p.m. Friday to a house on Jerusalem Road, finding about 20 youths not following guidelines for social distancing nor face coverings required at indoor gatherings by state public health officials.
They also found open containers, and several students ran away from the party and into a nearby wooded area, police said in a statement.
Two homeowners were inside the house during the party, and received a $500 citation from police and the Cohasset Board of Health for breaking the state order limiting indoor gatherings to 10 people, police said.
“Our department’s top priority is to keep our residents safe,” Police Chief William Quigley said in a statement. “We can not stress enough the importance of residents, especially our youths, adhering to public health guidance. All youths should be practicing social distancing and not attending any large gatherings.”
Those who went to the party are recommended to get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible, Sullivan said.
The party was the first time a party was held in violation of the coronavirus public safety guidelines, Sullivan said. Any future similar conduct could result in disciplinary action by the school district, he said.
“We acknowledge that the pandemic has necessitated unwelcomed adjustments to our lifestyle, and that those adjustments have been particularly hard on children and teens,” Sullivan said. “We must, however, remain cognizant of the fact that, regardless of the pandemic, actions we take may have adverse consequences for others – even if that is not the intended outcome."