Updated: Thursday, 24 Sep 2009, 6:08 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 23 Sep 2009, 9:56 PM EDT
East Haven (WTNH) - News Channel 8 has learned that all four East Haven football players have been reinstated to their team but will not be able to play in this week's game after the administration made a policy change.
The reinstatement comes after the four players, in addition to two cheerleaders, were taken off their respected squads after a party on Sep. 11 where police ticketed more than 20 students for possession of alcohol by a minor.
Teri Kasperzyk's son Stephen was one of the four football players removed. She says her son never was drinking alcohol, but was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time.
"He's never had so much as a detention, and he's a senior in high school, so this knocked us for a loop," said Kasperzyk.
East Haven Superintendent Anthony Seiro said school policy is clear: athletes found in possession of alcohol are dismissed from team sports.
"I don't think it's too harsh, it's a rule that we've had for several, several years, far beyond my superintendency [even principal's] stay here at East Haven High School. Many athletes have lived by this rule for many, many years," said Seiro.
But at the Board of Education meeting Tuesday night, parents, and the team's coach, asked for the rule to be revisited, especially since players haven't been convicted of anything.
And revisit they did. The administration completed a policy change after the meeting, allowing for the four players to get back to the game.I am extremely pleased with the fact that we have revised the penalties related to our zero tolerance athletic eligibility policy.
"These penalties are now more in alignment with those enforced by other SCC schools and are tiered to allow students with opportunities to get drug/alcohol counseling. The revised penalties - 20% of the games for the first offense, removal from the sport for the second offense and inability to participate in any sport for the remainder of the year due to a third offense are fair, firm, educational and support the belief that while there are consequences for inappropriate behavior we are here to support kids," said East Haven Principal, Vanessa Reale.
News Channel 8 has not been able to confirm if the two cheerleaders who were also ticketed have been reinstated to their squad.