Eleven Wando High School seniors will have to perform community service to receive their diplomas as a result of a booze-filled bus trip to Columbia last month to watch a Warriors soccer match.
Three students were arrested for underage drinking, and officers found several bottles of alcohol and some marijuana stashed on the privately chartered bus, police said. Some 40 students rode the bus to see the boys soccer team play Irmo High School on May 18, according to a police report.
The police report describes various students as being intoxicated, belligerent, irate and uncontrollable during the episode.
Schools officials investigated the incident, and Wando Principal Lucy Beckham disciplined 11 students, nine of whom were punished for alcohol violations, said Elliot Smalley, Charleston County School District deputy of strategic planning and communication.
Though the rest of their class graduated Thursday, the students will not receive their diplomas until they complete community service, such as helping teachers load boxes or volunteering with community non-profit agencies, Smalley said.
The three students who were arrested by Lexington County deputies will have to perform 48 hours of community service; amounts vary for the others, he said.
The students also must complete papers on substance abuse and write letters of apology to the Irmo principal and faculty, Smalley said.
The bus they took to the game was chartered by parents, and the trip was not sponsored by the school district, Smalley said. Two middle-aged chaperones accompanied the students, but the women said they never saw alcohol on the bus, a police report said.
A Mount Pleasant police officer who went to the game to help with security stated that problems first became apparent about 40 minutes into the game when an 18-year-old student was found reeking of alcohol and unsteady on his feet.
More intoxicated students were found after an argument erupted in the stands between Wando and Irmo students, police said.
A search of the bus and students found empty or near-empty bottles of vodka, rum and Jagermeister, along with numerous water, soda and juice bottles that smelled of alcohol, police said.
In one girl's purse they found marijuana and a pipe. The students denied knowing where the items came from, police said.
Police sent the students home on the bus after notifying their parents of the situation. The case was later closed and no additional criminal charges are planned in connection with the episode, Capt. Stan Gragg said.
Reach Glenn Smith at 937-5556 or email@example.com.