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Child Welfare Authorities Probe House Party Suspected In Bergen High School COVID-19 Outbreak

Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan
Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan Photo Credit: NVRHS@OT

State child welfare authorities are investigating a reported incident that occurred at a Harrington Park house party that preceded a COVID-19 outbreak among at least a dozen students at Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan.

Harrington Park Police Chief Albert Malouf said Tuesday that he couldn’t confirm allegations that a 15-year-old boy who attended the Tappan Road bash on March 13 passed out after consuming a marijuana edible.

“The juvenile in question was reported to have been picked up by a parent prior to the officers' arrival,” March 13, the chief said.

Police were unable to collect much information from the gathering because the homeowner “refused admittance to responding officers,” Malouf said.

Officers who showed up shortly after 11 p.m. “did not witness any juvenile in need of medical assistance,” the chief said. 

Nor was there any “evidence of drugs or alcohol that officers were able to observe or witness,” he added. 

“Based on the totality of the circumstances, the officers did not possess a legal right to enter the home due to the lack of evidence of wrongdoing upon arrival,” Malouf said.

However, the chief said, the state Child Protection and Permanency Unit (formerly DYFS) was contacted and initiated an investigation based on the alleged incident involving the 15-year-old.

NVRHS@OT serves students from Harrington Park, Northvale, Norwood and Old Tappan. Students from Rockleigh attend as part of a sending/receiving relationship.

They were scheduled to return on Thursday to the school, which had been shut down for two weeks.

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Senior Editor Jerry DeMarco can be reached at jdemarco@gmail.com. or gerardjdemarco@gmail.com. Or via text: (201) 943-2794. Or via Facebook Messenger.

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