Stanford professor Bill Burnett was charged with 44 counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor after teenagers were found to be drinking in his home, a fact he said he was unaware of at the time.
Burnett and his wife decided to host a party for their son and his friends the Friday after Thanksgiving to celebrate a recent football win. The couple made it clear that there was to be no alcohol allowed.
“We were not serving alcohol,” Burnett told the “Today” show Thursday. “We had bought chips and sodas and things for the kids and I had gone down twice and had not seen any drinking.”
At about 11 p.m., Menlo Park police officers visited Burnett’s residence after having received an anonymous complaint of children drinking.
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Burnett was arrested after police found alcohol snuck in by the 16 and 17-year-olds at the residence. His clean record was wiped away when he received one charge for each teen in attendance, 44 total.
Police action was in accordance with social host laws put in place to combat underage drinking and make parents more accountable for what occurs under their watch.
Cmdr. Dave Bertini of Menlo Park’s police department stood by the actions of the officers, telling the “Today” show that parents “need to be aware who their kids’ friends are, what their kids’ friends are bringing to the home.”
Still, the Burnett’s said it is impossible for any parent to know what their children are doing at all times.