Twenty Tense Minutes at Mohegan School Today for Dozens of Parents

Report of a parent with alcohol on their breath brings police, uninformed parents waiting


A report of a “parent with alcohol on their breath” at Mohegan Elementary School at dismissal time today left the parents of 35 to 50 children to wait in the school’s foyer, office and cafeteria for 20 minutes without any information until finally they were told the school was waiting for police to arrive.

“They told us nothing,” said the parent of a fourth grader. “It was like a mini-lockdown but they told us nothing for a while and parents were getting upset, some were getting loud. Then they told us we had to wait until the police came.”

Interim principal Rosemary Payne confirmed that she did not speak to parents and said she wasn’t sure if anyone else had.

“It wasn’t a lockdown and I don’t know (if any staff) said anything to them. I wasn’t there. I was with the children,” Payne said.

Payne said she chose to hold the parent pickup students and walkers in a line in the hallway until police arrived.

“We received a report, a suspicion of the smell of alcohol on a parent’s breath. We have an obligation …we contacted the proper authorities (the Montville Police Department) and (were) told to dismiss when police came. It wasn’t a lockdown. We chose to dismiss the buses and wait for the walkers and the (parent pick-up children) until police came. Maybe (the police officer) spoke to them.”

Officer Gregg Jacobson responded to the school.

A parent who spoke to Montville Patch on the condition her name not be used said Jacobson “was very calm and just asked us to be patient.”

Montville Police Resident State Trooper Sgt. Martin ‘Marty’ Martinez said Jacobson arrived, “took the individual into a private room” and administered a Breathalyzer. “There was no alcohol present,” Martinez said. “There was no arrest.”

The mother of the 9-year-old said while she can “understand why they did what they did, kind of, okay. But not telling us anything?”

“When the kids finally came out, some were crying, a little first grader or Kindergartener was crying. And my son said he thought there was a shooting."

She said he was referring to the shooting at Newtown. 

Laurie Swaney March 05, 2013 at 11:05 PM
Children are scared since the shooting at school, they can't process what we can as adult we had a hard time with it so certainly the children did as well. The school should said something to the fact that there is a practice of a lock down to ensure your safety to ease the children mind. This is a difficult time for children and adults, we think the worst, it's what the world has come to. Sad very sad for everyone involved!
Sandy March 05, 2013 at 11:13 PM
Was this parent threatening? I surely hope it wasn't just the smell of alcohol on this person's breath that caused them to press the panic button....
wheat741 March 06, 2013 at 01:56 AM
as a society we have devolved to sniveling whining excuses for adults. Safety is an excuse to call authorities in any condition. Don't mean to throw stones but I'm exasperated by most folks naivety and how to fix it. I think all politicians have reduced our capabilities to think for ourselves.
Keith Faulkner March 06, 2013 at 02:22 AM
I could understand if a parent stumbled drunk into the school, but the fact that alcohol wasn't even present is a little over the top. Who made the initial call? That person should not be in that position and frankly should seek help. Severe paranoia can have a terrible effect on your life and health.
Edward Jones March 06, 2013 at 03:03 AM
Wow how stupid are we getting.... can the drama queens take a little valium and stop finding reasons to suspect the worse? You have a better chance of hitting the lottery a few times than being involved in a mass school shooting get over it. Your kids are nervous wrecks because of the way the "adults" are acting.
Kate March 06, 2013 at 03:10 AM
excuse me? 'Just the smell of alcohol'? It is the school's job to protect our children and make sure they are not being sent home in a car with a drunk parent. They had every right to question this parent even IF they were not being threatening.
Melissa Nelson March 06, 2013 at 07:58 AM
I have to say maybe it could have been handled in a another way and passed on more information but i'm sure there would be more outrage if they just let the child go , something happened and that child was hurt. its better to be safe than sorry after the fact. All of you saying this was over the top would be having a fit if something happened to that child and nothing was done plus questions your child's safety at school. When it comes to children no one should be questioned or ridiculed for making a choice that could save a life.
jane March 06, 2013 at 11:29 AM
Making ALL the parents wait? Surely this person didn't smell alcohol on ALL the parents that were there. This is complete over reaction. It is actually embarrassing.
Toni Johnson March 06, 2013 at 05:09 PM
Are people really saying that they over reacted if they smelled alchol on a person's breath? I would rather be inconvenienced by a 20 minute delay, than have a child killed in a drunk driving accident. This town is rampant with drunk driving. Let's not crucify the school for protecting the kids. I am sorry people were inconvenienced by the delay but glad that it was not a drunk parent.
REVMAN March 06, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Do we now have SMELL cops for teachers??? Imagine how that parent feels, “There was no alcohol present,” Martinez said. “There was no arrest.
REVMAN March 06, 2013 at 10:08 PM
My suggestion they need to have more than one person smelling the parents breaths like a backup to a backup.
KEV March 06, 2013 at 10:43 PM
Nanny State. Enough said.
wheat741 March 07, 2013 at 12:57 AM
Omg... just put alcohol detecting tazer drones on everyone. If they drink drone taze them. I doubt that would satisfy you worry warts. You just cant fix stupid! Keep drinking the durple.
Keith Faulkner March 07, 2013 at 08:00 AM
There was no incedent. There was nothing!! There was no alcohol!!! There was just the paranoia of one person!! Geeze.
jane March 07, 2013 at 11:12 AM
I would like the rest of the story. Who decided this person was drinking, which she was not. Was it Mike Collins, who has been hired at $25 an hour, even though he is receiving a full pension, that couldn't figure out what alcohol smells like. If it wasn't him - where was he? And for those that think is was right and just to hold EVERYONE, and not just the 'non'-perp, - are you telling me the means justified the end - "When the kids finally came out, some were crying, a little first grader or Kindergärtner was crying. And my son said he thought there was a shooting." If it were me you were holding, and my kid came out traumatized, I'd be raising hell. But, my interest really is in who determined that that a non-drinking person was drinking? I would suggest that person be asked to stay away from children and adults since they seem like the type to cause unneeded drama.
Keith Faulkner March 07, 2013 at 05:52 PM
Next thing ya know woman will be in stop & shop and someone will point at them and say, SHE'S A WITCH! SHE'S A WITCH!!!
REVMAN March 08, 2013 at 05:02 PM
Keith --It is scary but your right.Parent are running around thinking their kids are being shot .Who ever started this should be fired for the same reason you can't yell fire in a pubilc place unless it's true.
carry saunders March 12, 2013 at 07:25 PM
I'm not trying to be RUDE Jane,,,,but I am going to...why do you ALWAYS have such negative posts..your always casting out others..it's a shame...I see you post on just about everything that happens in this town and I have NOT once come across something that was vital or positive about the town of montville from you...do you hate it that much? If you are going to be such a hater towards town and fellowship where YOU reside...how about packing up and moving to where the grass is greener..(wherever that may be)...enough said!!


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