High school students caught with marijuana

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By Nick Schrager

An incident that took place just as the school day began Tuesday at Washington County High School has ended in two students being charged with marijuana trafficking.

According to a report from the Springfield Police Department, Sgt. Cliff Peek was called to the school after administrators observed two students acting suspiciously and passing something under a table in the cafeteria. Upon searching one of the students, administrators found a bag containing 17 grams of marijuana, according to Peek. He said the marijuana is valued at approximately $300.

The students, both juveniles, were taken to the office. As is policy, the parents of the students were called, then the police were called to the scene.

WCHS Principal Leon Smith said the students were taken into custody by police, but not arrested. He said the students were later released to their parents.

“The first thing we do is call the parents and let them know we’re calling the police,” Smith said. “I have to compliment the police department on what a good job they did. They were here in minutes, and did a very good job working with both students.”

Smith said he is starting his fourth year as principal, and this is the first time he has seen this amount of drugs found in the school.

“We’ve found a joint before, but nothing of this significance,” he said. “I think there’s more of a problem in our community than our community realizes is out there. It concerns me that we have people using our students to transport marijuana and to try and sell it to our young people.”

Both students have been charged with trafficking in a controlled substance within 1,000 yards of a school, a Class D felony.

Smith said the students have been suspended pending an expulsion hearing by the Washington County School Board. He said the board can hand down a maximum penalty of a one-year expulsion.