Some of the 17 high school students arrested Sunday on suspicion of underage drinking are within days of graduating, but it seems likely that most will walk with their classmates.
Signal Mountain police arrested the students from the private Baylor School, Girls Preparatory School and the McCallie School at a party last weekend and charged them with drinking alcohol under age.
"These are good kids," GPS Headmaster Randy Tucker said Tuesday of the six students from his school. "They are good students. They made a bad decision, and they will pay for it."
Chief Boyd Veal said officers cited the teenagers after receiving a complaint Sunday from neighbors who said the party was too loud. The owners of the house were not home.
Ten of the arrested students are 18: Anna Behrends, Shelby Dooley, Janis Johnston, Matthew Jones, Cam Linsley, Blake Maum, Anna Richardson, Kaitlyn Richardson, Elizabeth Swafford and Dylan Waxler.
The other students arrested are not legally adults.
Tucker said more than 17 teens were at the party, but several of them ran away when officers arrived. The arrested students did not.
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For GPS seniors involved, the incident will not affect whether they graduate, Tucker said. He would not say how they will be disciplined. That is a matter between their families and the school, he said.
Getting caught with a drink is a violation of the McCallie School's alcohol policy, according to that school's student handbook. McCallie administrators notify parents, order a drug test, place those students in an educational program and start a routine of repeated drug tests that last until the student graduates or leaves the school.
"We are very disappointed in the poor choices a few of our students chose to make," Headmaster Kirk Walker Jr. said. "They are being appropriately disciplined in accordance with McCallie's stated policies."
The Chattanooga Times Free Press could not obtain the arrest reports for the teenagers involved. Veal said Tuesday morning that the reports had not been completed. Officers on shift that night did not fill them out thoroughly, and those officers would not work again until Tuesday night, he said.