Facebook pictures show Hackettstown High School students with alcohol

Principal notifies parents of students' pictures at alcohol parties

Facebook Flap at Hackettstown High School

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. - Do you know what your kids are posting on Facebook? Some parents in Hackettstown, N.J. didn't -- until their high school principal told them their kids were posting pictures with alcohol. Now, some parents aren't mad at their kids, but the principal.

Log onto to Facebook, and you don't have to look far to find high school kids boozing it up in pictures.

"I think that's kind of ridiculous that that's happening at such a young age," said Hackettstown sophomore Zack Stevenson.

Hackettstown High School Principal John Sarcone thought so too. When a school staffer found pictures of students at parties with alcohol, Sarcone took matters into his own hands.

"I felt it's my responsibility as a parent and a school principal to just inform parents what I know," he said.

The principal sent a letter to 36 parents, urging them to "speak to your child about this incident and the possible ramifications this may have on their education and their future." The letter goes on to suggest possible intervention with a high school guidance counselor.

The discovery got some temporarily suspended from after-school activities, even the football and soccer teams. That led to anger -- not from students, but some of their parents.

"There were some that were upset," said Sarcone. "The parents who were upset were usually the ones where kids had consequences -- maybe through an athletic team."

Students have mixed opinions on the Facebook Flap.

"I think they overstepped their boundaries a little bit," said senior Rob DiRienzo. "There were no actual pictures of anyone drunk or anything like that, and it was all speculation."

Stevenson added: "It is definitely something that they should be aware of, that their kids are doing this."

The principal says he understands students' privacy concerns, but he says if you think your high school is the only one looking at your Facebook page, you'd better think again.

"Colleges are going to go through it, so it's like -- if they tell you to take it down now, they could be helping you," said senior Emily Garcia.

Instead of taking the pictures down though, Sarcone hopes students put the bottle down.

What do you think of the principal's actions? Sound off by calling our "Your Take" hotline at 610-871-0074, or e-mail us at

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Allentown, PA 18102


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