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By John Hilliard/Daily News staff
The MetroWest Daily News
Posted Nov 05, 2008 @ 01:34 AM

HOLLISTON -
After an underage Halloween drinking party on a high school staff member's property landed one local girl in the hospital, police are investigating whether criminal charges should be filed.
Police Chief Tom Lambert said officers are investigating an Oct. 31 party at 396 Prentice St. where alcohol was served. He said police are looking at whether there could be charges of furnishing and procuring alcohol to minors, and they have interviewed a group of teens involved at the party.
Cynthia Bassil, whose 16-year-old daughter Michela Russo got drunk at the party and was later hospitalized, said the party began at 8 p.m. Bassil said teens at the party chipped in money for an adult to buy them alcohol, and the kids partied inside a barn on the property.
According to public records, the Prentice Street property is owned by Kathleen Barquet, a staff member at Holliston High School. She didn't respond to calls at her home and at the school.
Bassil said a man from a nearby house showed up at about 10:30 p.m. that night to end the party, and Barquet herself appeared around that time. Bassil said Barquet tried to clean up about five drunk teens, including Russo, then sent them home with other partygoers.
Bassil, a critical care nurse at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, works with kids who are suffering from substance abuse. She said Barquet was negligent for not calling 911 and getting medical help for those drunk partygoers.
She said school staff members should be wary of drinking-related deaths, particularly after a Plainville teen died following a drinking party last month.
"I think the individual should be exposed and held accountable for the bad decision making," said Bassil, who said she filed a complaint with the high school against Barquet.
Bassil said Russo's friends brought her home at about 12:15 a.m., and told her that Russo was passed out in the back seat. Bassil called 911 and an ambulance took Russo to MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham, where she was treated for three hours.
Superintendent Brad Jackson said he hasn't spoken to the staff member involved with the incident. He won't take action until he gets a report from police, he said.
He said student athletes can face sanctions from the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association for alcohol violations, but there is little more school officials can do to punish young people.
"Unless a student is an athlete, we have no authority to take any action," he said, but noted the school tries to address risky behavior with students and how those decisions can impact their lives.
Bassil said the schools need to develop better alcohol counseling and education programs, and she offered to volunteer to help.
As for her daughter, Bassil said she is grounded.
"It's very foolish to think this is an important part of growing up," Bassil said of teen drinking. "This is a very ignorant view."

http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/n...at-hospital-after-drinking-party-in-Holliston
 
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