MHS informs parents about contamination

Friday, March 22, 2013 ~ Updated 1:27 PM

Monett High School issued a letter on March 20 to the parents of the girls' basketball team informing them of the contamination of drinking water at a Feb. 4 game at Cassville.

"We were informed of this incident Wednesday morning, and by Wednesday afternoon, we pulled our students on the girls' basketball team that were involved and let them know what had happened," said Brad Hanson, Monett superintendant. "We also sent a letter home with the students."

The letter stated that four members of the Cassville girls' basketball team admitted their involvement in pouring urine into the drinking cooler provided to the Lady Cubs.

Administrators from both schools have been in constant contact discussing the incident since they were made aware of it on Wednesday.

"Our first concern was that the people involved knew about the incident and knew that Cassville was taking this very seriously and working on their end to handle the situation," said Hanson. "We have to trust and know they're in the same business as we are, and they are going to take care of it as they see fit."

Cassville High School has already disciplined the students involved, and administrators continue to investigate the situation to determine if further discipline is warranted.

Cassville Assistant Superintendent Jill LeCompte issued the following statement today (Friday, March 22), which reads in part.

"Cassville R-4 School District believes that sportsmanship and maintaining high standards for our students is important. We do not condone these actions and regret that our students were involved in this unfortunate incident.

"Student discipline is a private matter that we cannot discuss," the statement continues. "We are in communication with the other school district and are working cooperatively with them to address questions or concerns."

Monett High School contacted Dr. Mark Costley a Monett physician, who in turn contacted the infectious disease department at Cox South Hospital to determine if there are any potential health risks resulting from the incident.

"We were concerned about the potential health issues," said Hanson. "We wanted to be sure to educate our parents on what to do to test, screen and make sure our kids are protected. Mr. (David) Steward (high school principal), Mr. (Dave) Miller (assistant high school principal) and Mr. (Daryl) Bradley (athletic director) spent a lot of the day on Wednesday making phone calls to local physicians and the CDC (Center for Disease Control)."

According to the letter issued by Monett High School, the individual whose urine was poured into the water is undergoing tests to determine if any health risks are present.

"What's done is done. Our concern at this point is more health related than anything else," said Hanson.

The R-1 administration is asking parents and students to handle the situation with professionalism and restraint.

"We all need to remember that people make mistakes whether we're adults or 14- to 18-year-old kids," said Hanson. "We need to sit back, no matter how upset, appalled or angry we are. I'm asking for our students, coaches and community to take the high road on this and show we are the classy people we are."

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