GAITHERSBURG, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - An investigation is ongoing after a Quince Orchard High School staff member attended a graduation party where underage students were drinking. The staffer can be seen in a video posted online.
In a letter sent out to the community by the Quince Orchard principal Beth Thomas, she says she was "deeply troubled" by the staffer's judgment and appropriate steps have been taken. Read a partial statement below:
“I am deeply troubled by the failure of this staff member to exercise appropriate judgment. I would like to remind our parent community of the essential need to be vigilant when hosting celebrations involving our students and to encourage all of us to reaffirm our pledge to keep all events involving our students alcohol and drug-free.”
On Monday, FOX 5 talked with some seniors here at Quince Orchard about the party and the video and what they think of the teacher's actions.
"Yeah, that's not the only — it's not really a party, it's a graduation party... there were parents there, too. He was just in a position where there were only students there and that's all you saw on camera," said Quince Orchard senior Nahiem Howell.
"He probably thought he was going to meet some parents... have a good time... It's a graduation party so it's an important thing, but I guess the kids they took advantage of him and put him a position where there was drinking involved and then there is a video and that doesn't look good at all because he is a teacher partying with students," said Quince Orchard senior Seckret Murphy.
The video was briefly posted to Twitter — it has since been taken down — the teacher can be seen in the center of what appears to be a beer pong game. It's unclear what was in the red cups but Thomas says the students at the private graduation party were openly consuming alcoholic beverages and playing alcohol-related games.
The school system has not said whether the teacher seen in the video has been suspended or what his status is.
A parent FOX 5 spoke with Monday says if the details are true, the teacher crossed a line.
“Extremely disappointed and concerned… I know that teachers have the expectations to relate to the kids, however, not to that level,” the parent said. “I don't know what the consequences are for the teacher, but it should not happen.”