Saratoga Sheriff: Underage super-spreader party under investigation

Dan Levy
Updated: December 30, 2020 07:37 PM
Created: December 30, 2020 06:46 PM

GANSEVOORT - It was a super-spreader event that could land a pair of area school teachers in super hot water.

It's a story with several unsettling circumstances that include: positive COVID tests, quarantining, and perhaps unlawfully dealing with minors, not to mention the hardship now facing thousands of families whose kids can't go to school when the new year begins.

The story beings in Gansevoort, Saratoga County back on December 18, at a house party attended by as many as 50 people.

"We had some kids who tested positive, it basically started early to mid last week," said Don Lehman, spokesman for Warren County.

Lehman says a dozen people who attended the party have since tested positive for COVID. Thirty people are in quarantine.

Because many of the attendees were students at Glens Falls High School, that district will begin remote learning when classes resume on January 4.

"There's parents that are frankly pissed," said Ashley Shepherd, the mother of three students in the Glens Falls School District. "We're scrambling to figure out how all of a sudden we're supposed to accommodate our kids."

Two of Shepherd's three children have special needs.

"My fourth grader is autistic," she says, "It's not going to work. He doesn't learn virtually, which ultimately is going to cause regression."

Meanwhile, the Saratoga County Sheriff's Department confirms they're investigating the possibility that underage drinking took place at the party.

"They were doing what kids do," Lehman stated. "There were some people there of age. There were some people there underage from what we're being told. It's something that happens most every weekend in most school districts."

"I had my teenage years," Shepherd says, "I understand that kids are going to be kids. I don't approve of underage drinking."

NewsChannel 13's media partners at The Post-Star are reporting the party was held at the home of April and Joe McClements. She is a reading teacher at Big Cross Street Elementary School in the Glens Falls School District. He is a physical education teacher in the Ballston Spa School District.

At this time, no charges have been filed. The investigation continues.

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