PORTSMOUTH — Three students at Portsmouth High School were arrested within the past week on drug charges, and all were suspended for violating the school’s drug and alcohol policy. The school is considering expelling one of the students because it’s his or her second offense.
Principal Robert Littlefield notified parents of two separate incidents in an e-mail sent out after school today. Here is the complete message:
“To members of the Portsmouth High School community,
I am writing to share with you the facts surrounding two recent incidents at Portsmouth High School involving drugs and/or alcohol. As many of you know, I try to be open with parents about any such incidents in order to raise awareness, control rumors, and facilitate conversations between parents and students about the dangers of substance abuse.
“On Thursday, March 7th I received word from a staff member who reported seeing a suspicious exchange of money between two students. The staff member also reported the strong odor of marijuana emanating from one student’s locker. A subsequent search of the student’s locker revealed a package of cigarettes containing marijuana. The students (sic) was arrested by the Portsmouth Police Department and issued a maximum, 10-day suspension for violating our drug/alcohol policy. As this was the student’s second such offense this year, a recommendation has been made to consider expulsion from school.
“The second student who had been witnessed participating in the exchange was reported by another staff member as smelling of marijuana. Administrators approached the student and asked for cooperation in a search. The student became unruly, disruptive, and refused to follow directions of administrators. The student also exhibited assaultive behavior toward a staff member. The Portsmouth Police placed the student under arrest for assault and disorderly conduct. A 10-day suspension was also issued to the student.
“On Monday, March 11th a staff member reported to an assistant principal an account of a student apparently preparing small doses of LSD for distribution later in the day. A subsequent search of the student revealed some clear capsules containing small pieces of a brown paper-like substance. The Portsmouth Police were again called and the student was placed under arrest. Again, a 10-day suspension from school was issued and a referral for further exclusion was made for possession of drugs with intent to distribute.
“I am not proud of these incidents. I wish I could say with assurance that our campus is drug-free and that our students heed all the warnings about health risks and serious consequences for drug infractions. However, I do not believe it serves our community to be quiet about things of this nature. I encourage parents to talk to your children and be aware of their travels, their friends, and their habits. Please don’t ever say, “My child would NEVER …”.
“Thank you for your support. As always, I welcome your feedback by calling me or emailing me at: firstname.lastname@example.org