Wootton High School parents plan controversial trip to Mexico

- The acting principal of Wootton High School said she is outraged after learning that parents are planning a trip for spring break and not discouraging underage drinking.

This comes after two former Wootton students were killed in an alleged drunk driving crash last June after leaving a party at the home of Kenneth and Tracie Saltzman.

Kenneth Saltzman pleaded guilty to two counts of furnishing alcohol to minors. He paid a $5,000 fine.

Police reported that kids told them the Saltzmans allowed drinking parties at their home on a "regular basis."  

Tracie Saltzman was not home on the night of the crash. But she is now helping organize a spring break trip for the teenagers to go to Mexico, where the drinking age is 18.

A release for the Mexico trip that students have to get their parents to sign shows Tracie Saltzman as one of the two trip organizers. It says that the legal age to drink alcohol is 18 years old. It also says that the teenagers who do drink have to agree to do so responsibly.

By signing the form, parents are agreeing not to hold Saltzman or the other organizers responsible for injuries and damages during the vacation.

Wootton Agreement

While the trip is not organized by the school, Wootton High School acting principal Kimberly Boldon got wind of it and sent a letter to parents about it on Tuesday.

She wrote in part:

“Allowing underage drinking here or in another country is irresponsible, dangerous and places students in harm’s way.”

Boldon also said she is “deeply saddened and frustrated to see that some of the promotional/informational materials associated with this trip do not strongly discourage the consumption of alcohol beverages by our students.”

Wootton Mexico Letter

We went to the Saltzman's house on Wednesday, but no one answered the door.

Tracie Saltzman responded to us by email saying:

“The Spring break trip is not a Wootton High school trip and I am not sponsoring the trip nor is it my trip. I have helped coordinate travel utilizing the services of a travel agency. It is a trip over spring break consisting of many families and only my daughter and I are attending from my family. The few attending without their parents are going with families that are responsible for them. We do not condone drinking under the age of 21 and included Mexico's 18 year old drinking age in order to make families aware of the different law. I believe there are other spring break trips but this trip is specifically for families.”

When asked to comment on the principal taking issue with the release for the trip not discouraging drinking underage, she responded that:

“The document you are referring to was drafted by an attorney for a previous trip, passed on over the years and we reused that document updating the names and dates.”

Saltzman declined to comment on the fatal accident after the party at her house last summer.

The driver of the fatal car crash, Sam Ellis, was charged with vehicular manslaughter. The state’s attorney's office said that motion hearings for his trial will begin in the next few months.

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