High School Cracks Down on Drugs

Expulsions Begin; Football Team Loses Players as ‘Zero Tolerance’ Message Sent

By Patric Hedlund

At least four students have been dropped from the Frazier Mountain High School football team and about eight others are also in varying stages of being suspended or expelled as a result of a crackdown on pills and marijuana on campus.

On October 6 at 9:43 a.m. a 14-year-old student was reported to have become sick after taking Vicodin and morpine pills he acquired from a 15-year-old classmate. Sheriffs identified the alleged supplier and forwarded the case to the Juvenile Probation Department. Charges are being sought against the 15-year-old for possessing and furnishing narcotics for sale and possession of prescription medication.

On October 8 two more events brought flashing red lights to the campus.

Just after noontime, deputies responded at the request of school personnel to check a student who appeared intoxicated. Deputies talked with a 16-year-old who was arrested for public intoxication. Marijuana was found in his possession. He was released into the custody of his parents. The case was forwarded to the Juvenile Probation Department.

Just two hours later, at 2:40 p.m., an alleged drug overdose brought an ambulance, firefighters and sheriffs to the school when Assistant Principal Charles “Buck” Weber called sheriffs to check the welfare of two students who had become ill from taking medication identified as 300 mg. Seroquel tablets, a prescription antidepresssant drug being used without a prescription.

A 17-year-old senior was in possession of the Seroquel. Another student, 14 years old, was seen by paramedics. He said he had ingested two pills at school. Deputies located the alleged supplier, a 16-year-old. The 17- year-old was arrested for possession of medication without a prescription and the 16 year old was arrested for furnishing medication without a prescription. Both were released into the custody of their parents.

On Tuesday, Oct. 14 at 11 a.m., Armendariz reports, deputies responded to still another call from Weber, who said a small amount of “a green leafy substance,” suspected to be marijuana, had been located in the open bed of a pick-up truck in the school’s parking lot. The student, a 17-year-old senior, was detained and released into the custody of his parents pending further investigation. Part of that search was witnessed by students. It is likely that it is also on video from campus surveillance cameras.

Two expulsions were taken before the El Tejon Unified School Board of Trustees’ October 15 meeting.

On October 29, Superintendent Shelly Mason confirmed that the names of ten more students will be brought before the board at its November 12 meeting, nine without a hearing and one with a hearing by the board.

“Legally, there are no expulsions until the Board takes such action. Dates associated with incidents resulting in the recommendations for expulsion include October 3, 6, 8, 10, 13 and 14,” Mason wrote in an email response to questions from The Mountain Enterprise.

“It is the position of the administration of the ETUSD that every incident related to [the unlawful possession, use, selling, providing or being under the influence of a controlled substance] will result in immediate suspension and possible expulsion, pending an investigation…. This is, in essence, a ‘zero tolerance policy,’” Mason said.

This is part of the October 31, 2008 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

Have an opinion on this matter? We'd like to hear from you.