November 21, 2014

Seven 11- and 12-year-olds issued MIPs in Standish

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STANDISH — Seven local 11- to 12-year-olds were issued minor-in-possession citations in connection with a drinking party that was broken up by the Standish City Police, according to the Arenac County Prosecutors office.

The incident occurred Friday, Dec. 3, at a residence on River Street in Standish.

Standish Police Chief Mark Christian said he and a fellow officer were called out to the residence where the party was taking place.

He said when the officers arrived on the scene, they noticed nearly a dozen juveniles were in possession of alcohol. Christian said the minors fled the scene but were later caught and confessed that the alcohol belonged to them.

“We issued tests on the juveniles and anyone found with alcohol in their system was issued an MIP,” he said.

Christian said that a neighbor, a 43-year-old Standish man, confessed to providing the alcohol to the minors. His name has yet to be released by the Arenac County Prosecutor’s office.

Christian said that the house where the party was taking place is the home of the minors, whose mother was out of town visiting family downstate.

“These juveniles pooled their money together and gave it to this neighbor who purchased the alcohol,” he said.

Christian said he was shocked at the age of the minors, whose parents and guardians were called to pick them up after the citations were issued.

“I have never heard of juveniles that young drinking like this before,” he said. “It just goes to show you that maybe there should be more education for (minors) about the dangers of alcohol.”

Standish-Sterling Community Schools Superintendent Michael Dodge said that two Standish-Sterling Middle School students have been removed from extracurricular activities because they violated the school’s code of conduct policy by participating in the party. Middle school principal Gary Roper said student-athletes could be disciplined because of conduct unbecoming of an athlete.

“These students will not be able to take part in any after-school activities,” Dodge said.

Dodge said that he talked to Roper, and the school is looking at a number of options for education, and the school staff will be on the lookout for any signs of alcohol or drug abuse.

“We are going to be more vigilant,” Dodge said. “Last year we had a staff and parent meeting, and the turnout was not good. We may try that again in the future.”

Roper said this situation is, “very uncommon.”

Dodge said the incident is not something that will not be taken lightly.

“This is not something that we can just sweep under a rug. The majority of our parents are good parents, and you can’t blame the community for something like this,” he said. “This is a good community, but some people need to wake up.”

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