State police are investigating how more than two dozen Methacton Area High School students showed up at their senior prom Saturday so drunk that they had to be sent home.
Officials of the Montgomery County school booted as many as 32 students who arrived intoxicated to the event at the Valley Forge Convention Center. Some were so inebriated they allegedly could not stand, investigators said.
Investigators from the Skippack state police barracks took on the case after reports emerged that many of the students involved had arrived at the dance on the same rented bus and had attended a pre-prom party in Worcester Township, about 10 miles away.
Authorities declined to discuss their progress on the case Wednesday but said they had not yet determined that a crime involving providing alcohol to minors had occurred.
"It's much too early to make any assumptions," State Police Lt. David Buckley said. "We're trying to figure out whether these teens were supplied alcohol. And if so, who supplied them alcohol."
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said Wednesday she expected the state police to lead the investigation. Once it is concluded, she said, investigators will consult with the District Attorney's Office and police in Upper Merion, where the prom was held, "to review appropriate charging."
Upper Merion police did not return a call. Police Chief Bud Carroll in Lower Providence Township said no crime related to the prom had occurred in his township over the weekend.
The Methacton district includes Worcester and Lower Providence Townships. There is no Worcester Township police force; state police patrol and investigate local crime.
Timothy J. Quinn, Methacton school superintendent, released the following statement:
"Members of the Methacton High School administration are working carefully in conducting a thorough investigation of the incident that took place at the Methacton High School prom. The results of that investigation will involve the discipline of those students involved, and, as such, must be treated with the same confidentiality as would any matter of student discipline."
Nine days before the prom, on May 12, Assistant District Attorney Bradford A. Richman had gone to the Methacton High School to lecture juniors and seniors as part of the District Attorney's Office's safe-driving program, Ferman said.
"Methacton - Superintendent Timothy J. Quinn specifically - has been proactive in dealing with these issues, and had us come out for a number of topics. No one here can comment on the 'what happened' because we don't know the details yet," Ferman said.