Judge Memorial's alcohol incident becomes a teaching moment for girls basketball squad
SALT LAKE CITY — The choice that two members of the Judge Memorial High girls basketball team made to drink during last week's state playoffs has had repercussions for many of their teammates.
"A couple of girls made a mistake," said Judge athletic director Dan Quinn. "And other kids either found out, knew about it or watched it happen and they didn't do anything, so they're being held accountable as well."
The girls who were caught consuming alcohol during a room check were immediately turned over to their parents, who were traveling with the team to the 3A state tournament in Southern Utah.
After returning to Salt Lake City, coaches and school officials conducted an investigation into whether or not any of the other players knew what was occurring or were involved. After a number of conflicting stories, administrators chose to enforce the school's code of conduct.
All students are required to sign the code of conduct and it is the reason some of the students who weren't consuming alcohol are now on probation with the school. If they have another violation, they can be dismissed from the school.
"These are high school kids and we need to take the opportunity to teach, even the good kids, even the kids who wouldn't think of drinking, about peer pressure," Quinn said. "We want to help them make the right decision."
The right thing do to, according to the code of conduct, is to report other students that a player sees or knows are violating the code of conduct. If students do not do that, they could face the same punishment as those who actually broke the rules.
The decision of the administration to punish girls who weren't drinking has angered some.
"There are some very mad parents," Quinn acknowledged. "But the rest of the girls are just being held to the Judge Memorial code of conduct. … Quite frankly, the school has an opportunity to make it a learning experience for everyone."