Thursday, October 10, 2002

Students suspended for drugs at SHS

Published in the Current; co-written with Kate Irish Collins

Three students have been suspended from Scarborough High School after two of them were caught under the influence of a prescription drug stolen by the third from her mother.

On Sept. 27, two male students came to school “impaired,” according to Detective Sgt. Rick Rouse. They had taken medication belonging to the mother of a female friend of theirs, who had stolen it.

All of the students are aged 14 or 15, Rouse said, and were charged with possession of illegal drugs. One of the male students was on probation for a
prior offense and was taken to Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland. The other male was charged with “another drug offense,” Rouse said. He was not able to determine what that charge was.

Police later identified the drug as clonazepam, which is sold under the brand name Klonopin. Principal Andrew Dolloff said the drug is used to quell anxiety and is also an anti-seizure medication.

Dolloff said the students came to the attention of a staff member, who reported that they appeared to be high on something.

Dolloff said the procedure, when it is suspected that a student is under the influence, is to call them into the main office and access their condition.

He also said a search was conducted, but school officials did not find the drug in the possession of the students.

Dolloff said discussions are still ongoing about further consequences, including possible expulsion for the student who supplied the drug in the first place. He said that this type of incident at school during school hours is fairly rare, but this incident has raised his level of concern.

Dolloff is planning to hold a forum for parents in the near future to talk about what kids in Scarborough are doing after school, including getting
involved in using drugs and alcohol and engaging in sexual activity.

Dolloff said one thing the school can do is to take a strong stance when students are caught on school grounds, which includes the automatic suspensions.

This week freshmen are participating in preventative awareness programs that focus on issues facing teenagers, including social pressure and participating in illegal activities.