Two high school seniors will not be allowed to play in a championship lacrosse game because they smoked cigars after their graduation ceremony at Beverly High School in Massachusetts.
A photo of four school seniors smoking the cigars at graduation was published in the Beverly Citizen newspaper. The cigar smoking violated the school's rule about tobacco use.
“The punishment doesn’t seem to fit the crime,” John Donovan, whose son Nick was one of the boys banned, told CBS Boston. “I guess somebody called the school and said, ‘Hey, student athletes are having a cigar as part of a celebration' and then things evolved from there. The spirit of the no-smoke rule, I guess, is the right one to have but I think it was applied in the wrong context.”
According to Boston.com, senior Dylan Jutras will also be banned from playing in Saturday’s championship game.
Both Nick Donovan and Jutras are 18 years old and can legally smoke in the state, but there are some towns that have raised their smoking limits, noted Boston.com, but Beverly, Mass. is not listed among them.
Beverly High School’s principal and assistant principal have not commented on the situation.
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, which governs high school sports, states in its handbook:
From the earliest fall practice date, to the conclusion of the academic year or final athletic event (whichever is latest), a student shall not, regardless of the quantity, use, consume, possess, buy/sell, or give away any beverage containing alcohol; any tobacco product (including e-cigarettes); marijuana; steroids; or any controlled substance. This policy includes products such as “NA or near beer”. It is not a violation for a student to be in possession of a legally defined drug specifically prescribed for the student’s own use by his/her doctor.
Sources: CBS Boston, Boston.com, Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association