NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Despite the recent controversy over Board President Amy Moselhi possessing and distributing alcohol at Albert Leonard Middle School last month in violation of School Board Policy and State and Federal Law, the Parent Teacher Association of George M. Davis Jr. Elementary School held a school-authorized extra-curricular event last Friday where alcohol was sold, possessed, distributed and consumed.
The Davis PTA fundraiser — Wine Glass Painting with Larry Minetti — was promoted by the Davis PTA with the tag line “Come for the wine, stay for the raffle!” and included a Cash Bar and gift cards that could be used to purchase alcohol at area bars and restaurants.
The event was held at the New Rochelle Irish (Benevolent) Society in downtown New Rochelle on Friday, January 24th. The Davis PTA charged $50 per person with other money raised through a Silent Auction and the sale of alcohol.
A flyer for the event published on the Davis PTA Facebook page said “Money raised will go towards for (sic) field trips for each grade” with checks “made out to Davis PTA”.
The Davis PTA, like all PTA’s associated with public schools in the City School District of New Rochelle, is a member of the New York State Parent Teacher Association and is a Board authorized organization and is part of the the New Rochelle PTA Council. The Davis PTA is linked off of the Davis School website and meets in the Davis School.
The Davis PTA leadership does not include Davis teachers – leaving the “T” out of “PTA – but instead bills itself as “a volunteer group of parents working to support the mission of Davis Elementary school and dedicated to building community, encouraging communication and supporting our teachers and students” and to “promote the welfare of children and youth in the home, school, community and place of worship”.
In a legal opinion prepared by the outside counsel for the New Rochelle Board of Education dated January 14, 2020, two days after the Davis PTA began promoting an event featuring wine and other alcohol, Ingerman Smith cited Code 8130 (updated in 2016):
“No person may use, possess, sell or distribute alcohol and other substances, nor may any person use or possess drug paraphernalia on school grounds or at school sponsored events, other than drugs as prescribed by a physician and used appropriately.”
Section 2801 of New York State Law Codes of Conduct on School Property defines school property as “in or within any building, structure, athletic playing field, playground, parking lot or land contained within the real property boundary line of a public elementary or secondary school” OR “in or on a school bus” OR “a school function”. A school function is defined as “a school-sponsored or school-authorized extra-curricular event or activity regardless of where such event or activity takes place”.