Many of the 17 North Yarmouth Academy students who are charged with drinking at an after-prom party in Brunswick last weekend are student-athletes and have been suspended from games, the school’s headmaster confirmed Wednesday.

Brunswick police charged the students, ranging in age from 16 to 18, with underage drinking, and charged Janet Rousseau, 46, of Brunswick with providing a place for minors to drink.

The athletes involved are allowed to practice and are expected to be at games, but are not eligible to play until June 8, said Peter Mertz, headmaster of the private school in Yarmouth. He would not say specifically how many players on each spring team are affected.

With the exception of one student, the boys’ tennis team and the boys’ and girls’ track teams are not affected, he said.

Mertz said he and other staff members at the academy have had several talks with the student body about the incident’s impact on the school and the communities it serves.

“Bad choices by some students let other students down,” Mertz said. “All of our kids are embarrassed by what happened. The kids who did it are embarrassed.”

Mertz said the 17 students were disciplined equally, even though some were simply at the party while others were more involved in the drinking.

He said the students weren’t suspended from school because the party didn’t happen at North Yarmouth Academy.

“The kids were very forthright about accepting their responsibilities,” he said. “It’s unfortunate, but hopefully the kids who are in trouble will learn a valuable lesson about the consequences of their actions.”

Brunswick police said they received a complaint about noise in the woods near 182 Woodside Road, where the party happened late Saturday night.

“We saw a lot of beer cans laying around on the grass,” said Patrol Cmdr. Mark Hagan. “As the officer approached, one (youth) came out with a red plastic cup, and when he saw officers he dropped the cup and ran.

“As we went around to the back of the house, there were other young adults who took off,” Hagan said. “We investigated further and found Bud Light beer cans, hard liquor bottles lying around.”

Police also found a girl on a couch and had trouble waking her, said Hagan. They called for an ambulance to take her to the hospital.

The youths were from multiple communities, said Hagan.

Coach Julia Sterling, whose girls’ lacrosse team lost 17-4 to Waynflete on Tuesday with a depleted lineup, said the team will forge ahead and learn from the experience.

Players are expected to be eligible to return on June 8 — which is 14 days, excluding Sundays, from the start of the suspensions on Monday.

“We’re holding our heads high,” said Sterling. “The players who have been suspended have rallied behind the team and hoped for forgiveness. We’ll do the best we can. Everyone is going to learn from this.”

Staff Writer Jenn Menendez can be contacted at 791-6426 or at:
[email protected]