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On behalf of myself, and many other students, I would like to formally address the Drug
and Alcohol problem that accompanied the 1999-2000 school year Vermont trip. Many times I
have heard stories about the “infamous” Vermont Ski trip, and the many illegal things that have
occurred consistently throughout the years. To the best of my knowledge this behavior was
ignored, overlooked, and typical of this trip. So in believing that this kind of “partying” was
habitual, I decided to participate along with several others who had attended past trips.
At first I was hesitant in bringing anything, but after a couple of conversations with certain
individuals, I was convinced that it would be all right to do so without any punishment being
enforced. Thus brought me to obtaining the “single” bottle I was bringing for a friend ,and I to
consume with others, along with the other alcoholic beverages brought on the trip by my peers.
This brings us to the time of departure for Vermont, on Thursday March 17, 2000. At
approximately 11:50 PM I arrived to load the bus. At a little after 12:00 AM we left the Holley
High School for Vermont, without “A BAG CHECK” by any of the seven chaperones. After a ten
hour drive we arrived at our destination, Stowe Ski Resort. At around 4:30 PM we loaded the bus
to go to the Courtyard By Marriot, the hotel in which we would be staying at for the remainder of
the trip. Following our arrival we were given the room assignments, we then unpacked our bags
quickly, and my roommates and I hid the alcohol that we each brought under our beds. After that
a majority of us students went to the pool, and jacuzzi for a swim before our expected 7:00 PM
dinner time. Dinner lasted for about a half an hour, to forty-five minutes, and soon after I then
again went to the pool with a couple of people for another swim.
Around 8:30 PM I returned upstairs to a friends room, where I then received a phone call
from one of my roommates asking me if I planned on returning to our room to “drink.” I
answered hesitantly, but after a little debating I decided to go back to my room. At that moment I
only returned ,to change out of my swim clothes, before I headed back to the friends room. While
I was in my room changing I was asked by two of my roommates to compare their drinks, and
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decipher which was better. This then proves that the alcohol, both mine, and my roommates, had
already been out and consumed long before I first returned. After that, I went to my friends room
and we both then returned to my room at about 9:00pm. Upon arrival we had found six other
people in my room already there for one purpose. I then proceeded to ask one of my roommates
where the bottles were, he then replied “in the liquor cabinet,” sure enough there I found all the
alcohol moved from under the beds where I last knew it to be, into the place where I was storing
my clothes. At that moment I removed “the bottle” from the cabinet to pass around to my friends.
First I had opened the bottle so that everyone could smell the Butter Scotch aroma. After passing
it around to all eight people including myself., we then all took “one baby sip” from the bottle.
A few moments after that most of the people in my room decided to go take a swim. Then
three female students left to go change into their swimming attire, leaving my friend, three of my
roommates, and myself in the room. At this point the bottle had been sealed for a couple of
minutes. I was then listening to one of my roommates tell a story, while the other two changed.
During this short period of time there was a knock on the door, and Mr. Orbaker who was the ski
trip advisor, walked into the room to see me holding the bottle in my hands. After I got done
listening to my roommates story I then noticed Mr. Orbaker standing in the hallway staring at me.
He then motioned for me to walk over to him, as I did he signaled for the bottle, grabbed the
liquor and proceeded to say” way to be an asshole” and he then exited the room.
Five minutes following the above incident he returned to the room, then started yelling at
us with profane words. Screaming at us he then mentioned how he, has my room with alcohol,
one room smoking cigarettes, and another room lighting a bowl full of Marijuana. Furiously he
next told everyone to get to their rooms and dispose of anything we didn’t want him to see,
because there “might be” a bag and room check. At this moment two of my roommates quickly
emptied their alcohol into the sink and hid the empty bottles. Moments later he then went to every
room and told them to rid of anything that was inappropriate on this trip, and how their might be
checks through the night, and we had to sleep with our doors open. At 10 PM all students on the
trip turned in for the night. To the best of my memory he was only checking rooms to see if we
were engaging in any type of “partying.” Approximately at 11:45pm he stopped all room checks
in which there were never any complete searches of the room or bags. This completes our first
night in Vermont.
When my room woke up in the morning a parent chaperone came to our room to tell us to
get rid of everything we had cause Mr. Orbaker was thinking about a bag check. Which I might
add once again, never occurred. We left the hotel at about 7:45 AM for Sugarbush Ski Resort. As
I got on the bus the first thing he said to me was “ what are you doing here?” I replied with
“what?” he then proceeded to say “I thought you came here to party.” Following that I just sat
down in my seat without saying a word to anyone. As we were on our way to Sugarbush he
decided to talk to the group as a whole. Over the loud speaker he went on to tell us how he was
very pissed off, and disappointed in us for doing what we did the night before. Then he went on to
say he knows it was more than just one of us and how we were all guilty, however there were a
few innocent people and they know who they were. After the ten minute lecture he finished it up
by stating that we would be stopping at the store on the way home. As he said that he made a
crack how my room (room 201) would be better off if we picked up some Tylenol for our
headaches, and how another room would benefit by buying Nicotine patches for their addiction.
We next arrived at Sugarbush and he told us that he didn’t care whether we had fun or not cause
we already ruined his trip. Also that if there were any more problems we would be sent home
early. After skiing around 4pm we made our way back to the hotel, but first we made a stop at the
grocery store so we all could pick up snack items. We arrived at the hotel around 5-5:30 PM, and
then went on with our night like nothing had happened. At around 8:00 PM a student from
another room took me up to the third floor and showed me where his room had thrown out their
alcohol. There I saw three full bottles of liquor in the bottom of the garbage can. I asked the
student when they threw the alcohol out and he said just after dinner on Saturday night. So almost
24 hours after my incident, there was still alcohol in many students possession, which in my eyes
shows that Mr. Orbaker neglected his duties as a chaperone, by not searching every room, every
bag, and every anything.
Later that night at 10 PM we had what I guess is the annual pizza party in Vermont,
which allowed us to stay out of our rooms until 10:45 PM. At that time we had to keep our doors
open like we had the previous night, so he could check in on us. Despite of the curfew set forth by
Mr. Orbaker, he himself allowed two students stay downstairs and converse with one of the boys
relatives. At approximately 12 AM the two boys returned upstairs and went to bed. In the
meantime Mr. Orbaker had been performing his little room checks and kept asking my room if the
two students had returned. Our room replied “NO” because one of the boys was staying in my
room so we knew they hadn’t returned. To me this shows how a little favoritism was exemplified
by Mr. Orbaker.
This now brings us to our final day on the trip, Sunday morning. We had all gotten up and
on the bus like the day before, but this time without any comments to certain individuals. We left
for Sugarbush around 7:45 AM. On our way there he again came on over the loud speaker and
told us how last night was better, but how he hadn’t forgotten, and how he wanted us to keep the
trip positive, not negative. After skiing till 3 PM we loaded the bus and left for home. The whole
way home there were no problems or anything said about Friday nights fiasco. As we arrived in
Brockport once again he used the loud speaker to state that the trip ended much better than it had
started, and when talking to people outside of the ski club keep the trip positive and everything
will be all right. Also as we pulled into the school parking lot ,he made the same statement once
again, as above, and how we were all to be in school for homeroom.
The next morning I got up and came to school like any other day, and honestly expected
everything to be all right like nothing happened. Just after 3rd period a member from the ski club
rushed up to me and told me how they had just talked to Mr. Orbaker. They told me that Mr.
Orbaker said to them “remember how I told you guys to keep the trip positive, well it’s too late
it’s out and I had to report it to Mr. Camuto.” I then in a panic ran to Mr. Orbaker and asked him
what was going to happen and he said how that he had to write me up, how he had to write up
that he smelt cigarette smoke, and marijuana smoke. During the middle of 4th period I was called
down to the office to speak with Mr. Camuto. When I arrived he asked me about the situation
and I proceeded to tell him what went on. I never once lied to him about anything that happened.
I was then told by Mr. Camuto how I would receive 5 days in ISS, and lose all extra-curricular
privileges for the next 20 weeks. I then asked Mr. Camuto what was happening with anybody else
and he said that there was not much they can do because Mr. Orbaker only saw me. I then asked
him what was going to happen to the room where Mr. Orbaker smelt the marijuana, this time I
was told that there was little checking they had to do and that they still had to talk to the boys that
occupied that room.
Later that day as I was sitting in the ISS room I heard over the loud speaker the boys that
were in the room associated with the marijuana smoke called down to the office. To my surprise
nobody else joined me that day in ISS. At the end of the day I asked a friend what went on with
the “pot smokers” and I was told how they all denied it, and just said people kept coming in and
out of their room the whole night so they had no clue who was smoking. I then went home
around 2:30 PM to tell my parents what went on, but when I got home Mr. Camuto had already
contacted my mother and asked for a meeting the next afternoon with himself, my parents, Mr.
Orbaker, and I.
So the next day at 3:30 PM my parents and I walked into Mr. Camuto’s office to find that
he had no idea where Mr. Orbaker was. About ten minutes later Mr. Orbaker showed up and
explained he was late due to the fact his dog had ran away, and he had just found him so he had to
take the dog home first. The first thing said in the meeting was my parents asking Mr. Orbaker for
his side of the story. In which the story was the same as my parents had heard from both Mr.
Camuto, and I. Next my father went on to ask why I was the only one in trouble for the entire
trip. Instead of answering the question they decided to work around it and say how I was caught
with the bottle in my hands. Next I asked Mr. Camuto again what was happening with the “pot
smokers” and he then told me “what can he do, they can’t prove who did it so they can’t punish
anyone”. I then said “well punish everybody” and he replied with “we can’t do that.” The meeting
concluded with my parents saying that “because our son told the truth and didn’t lie, he’s going to
take the punishment for the entire trip,” and also how we would like to talk to Mr. Pileggi about
the incident and the fact of how the policy should be changed in a couple of ways. Mr. Camuto
then said “I’ll talk to Mr. Pileggi in the morning and give you a call back tomorrow on what he
would like to do.”
To set the record straight it has been 3 days since the meeting, and STILL NO CALL
BACK from MR. CAMUTO, and I would like to add my father has called Mr. Camuto and left
messages at least two different times for Mr. Camuto to call him back. On Friday during the day I
decided to go to his office personally and ask about what had been done. Mr. Camuto told me
how he had talked to Mr. Pileggi Wednesday morning and Mr. Pileggi did not know what he
would like to do, and as soon as he found out he would contact us immediately.
In conclusion I am left no other choice but to take matters into my own hands because my
parents and I are tired of being blown off by Mr. Camuto. I would also like to state that in no way
am I saying I shouldn’t be punished or that the punishment is in appropriate. I would just like to
see others who were involved just as much, or more than me be punished to the fullest extent of
the school policy as I am. In my opinion there should be many other students sitting out in their
spring sport, having their National Honor Society membership revoked, and not attending the
prom just like me. I would like to know since when in this world is telling lies acceptable and
telling the truth gets you into ten times as much trouble.