A school employee has been charged under the county’s social host law for allegedly allowing youths under 21 to consume alcoholic beverages at her residence late last year.
Alida Flint, 52, a monitor at Granville High School, was charged with a violation of the 2009 social host law, which prohibits knowingly allowing underage persons from consuming alcohol, for an underage drinking party that authorities said took place Dec. 29.
The incident was brought to the attention of Granville High School officials early last week when photos taken at the Elm Street party were e-mailed to the school anonymously.
The superintendent Mark Bessen, high school Principal Scott Bojanich and Athletic Director Michael Macura each received the e-mails.
Bessen contacted police after the youths were identified by school officials midweek.
“You worry about these parties all the time, you worry about them getting out of hand or someone getting behind the wheel and then we’re mourning a loss,” Bessen said.
“Any time we can work with organizations and the authorities to curtail underage drinking parties we will and we’re very disappointed and hurt that an employee hosted such a party,” Bessen said.
Flint could be seen in some of the photos, police said.
The party occurred Dec. 29 in the basement of Flint’s Elm Street residence, police said. When confronted with the allegations and photographic evidence, police said Flint admitted she allowed the party to take place.
Flint was ordered to appear in Granville Village Court at a later date.
Police Chief Ernie Bassett Jr. said the lesser social host charge applies in this case because, at this time, there is no evidence Flint provided the alcohol, just that she allowed alcohol to be consumed at her residence.
A misdemeanor charge of unlawfully dealing with a minor could be brought in a case where an adult provided the alcohol for underage drinkers to consume, police said.
The investigation is ongoing, Bassett said.
The gathering narrowly missed being broken up that night, officials said. A patrol officer was in the area following up on a report of a loud party. The officer noted cars parked along both sides of Elm Street, but was called away to an emergency before he could park and get out of the car to determine where the reported loud party was taking place, police said.
Bessen said Flint was still employed by the district. “I can’t go into detail, however, the school attorney and I are working together to start disciplinary action as permitted via civil service law,” Bessen said. Flint could not be reached for comment on the story; calls to her listed number were not picked up.
Bessen said students captured in the photos who were athletes violated the athletics code of conduct and have been disciplined. Those currently playing a sport will miss games; those not currently playing a sport, but will play a sport in the future will face their punishment at that time. Under the athletic code of conduct athletes face the loss of games in a season for a first offense, for the next offense they lose a sports season while a third offense means loss of all athletics privileges.
The board of education will be considering adding all extracurricular activities under the code going forward.
“Why should it be just the athletes getting punished when what we’re doing it trying to curtail all underage drinking?” Bessen said.
The students shown in the photos are not facing charges, police said.
The social host law resulted from the drunk driving deaths of two teenage girls who died in an automobile accident while riding with an intoxicated teenage driver after leaving a house party in Putnam in 2008.