School cracks down on drug use and sales

February 12, 2014 — by Bruce Lou, Grace Ma and Arman Vaziri

This year, and especially in recent weeks, the school has seen a dramatic increase in drug citations — some leading to suspensions or possible expulsions, assistant principal Kevin Mount said.

This year, and especially in recent weeks, the school has seen a dramatic increase in drug citations — some leading to suspensions or possible expulsions, assistant principal Kevin Mount said.

Last year, the school gave no citations for drugs; so far, Mount said, the school has cited several students — a number Mount described as "under 15."

Mount said the administration is committed to reducing the number of students participating in drug usage on campus. 

“I think they need to hear that hey, the reason why Mr. Mount and campus supervisors Mr. Hernandez and Ms. Sevilla are out in the front parking lot is because the front parking lot has been a problem,” Mount said. “We want to be a presence and we want kids to know that we’re paying attention.”

Although most of the citations have been to students using drugs, there have also been problems with students selling drugs on campus. 

“Any kind of sale or furnishing is a mandatory recommendation for expulsion by California state law,” Mount said. “That doesn’t mean the student will be expelled, it means we have to recommend to the superintendent and the school board that the kid be expelled. Selling is a felony.”

In response to the increased number of drug busts, mostly involving marijuana, the administration is planning a series of presentations to give to students in the spring. The plan is both to educate students about the use of drugs and to reiterate the administration’s policy on drugs. The administration also hopes to get parents and counselors involved. 

“The discipline policy is public, and the policy on drug use hasn’t changed for a really long time,” Mount said. “And this is why we’re going out to the classrooms, to remind kids of the policy, because the fact that they’re not reading the handbook is clear.”

While there has been an increase in drug busts, Mount said it’s probably because students are being “less smart” with drugs on campus, instead of an increase in drug usage. Events in other states may also factor in to the “mainstreaming” of marijuana, which takes the criminality out of using the drug.

“I don’t think because in Colorado they legalized recreational use for adults that [students] can bring it to school” Mount said. “In fact, [even] if you have a medical marijuana card and you’re an 18-year-old high school student, it remains you cannot bring it to school. It’s against the law.” 

Students attribute the increase in drug busts to the easier availability of drugs in California. 

“[Drug use] has increased because of the availability of the drugs, especially in California,” said one student who uses marijuana. “People aren't necessarily becoming less careful, they are conscious of what they are doing to their body and that it’s illegal, but it's more of a libertarian movement in that high schoolers, as they gain independence from their parents, believe that they can put whatever they want in their body.”

The students said that others are “just being more and more careless” about drug use on campus because of the administration’s lack of busts in the previous year.

“My perception is is that not a lot of parents realize the current technology that is revolving around marijuana use,” Mount said. “Recently I had a parent say to me, ‘Well I never smelled it on my kid.’ I think the old school way of kids rolling joints to smoke marijuana is kind of anachronistic.”

The administration plans to reiterate the consequences of getting caught using or selling drugs.

“When we get out to the classrooms this spring, we want to make sure students understand it’s a zero-tolerance policy,” Mount said.

4 views this week