Three students, not 70, are suspended from Liberty High School over suspected marijuana
January 22, 2010
By Chantelle Lusebrink
NEW — 2:17 Jan. 22, 2010
Three Liberty High School students were expelled for possession of what police and district officials say they suspect is marijuana on Jan. 13, 20 and 21.
School employees found a 15-year-old student in possession of a small amount of marijuana on campus Jan. 13.
School officials proceeded to ask questions about other students who might have marijuana on campus as well, said Sara Niegowski, district communications director.
In the course of their investigation, two other students were found to be in possession of the drug, she said.
An 18-year-old and a 17-year-old were found with small amounts of the substance on school property Jan. 20 and 21, respectively.
The substance is being tested by a laboratory; when the results are back, they will likely be forwarded to the King County Prosecutor’s Office with a recommendation to file charges, King County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Sgt. John Urquhart wrote in an e-mail.
District officials have fielded calls from local media asking to verify the validity of a student’s e-mail saying that more than 70 students were being expelled.
District officials and Urquhart said those rumors aren’t true.
“Someone is spreading a rumor about the severity of what happened,” Niegowski said.
School officials are still investigating the issue to make sure there isn’t a larger problem, which is standard procedure, she said.
“The Sheriff’s Office is not conducting an ongoing drug investigation at Liberty, but we will take action when drugs (or other contraband) is found or suspected,” Urquhart wrote.
“We take every incident at our schools seriously,” Niegowski said. “This is a definite concern, and we want to make sure our schools are safe and healthy places for students to be.”
Liberty, however, is not the only school to encounter such disciplinary issues; school officials deal with them every day at every school, she added.
Parents can help school officials and their children by becoming more aware of what students are doing.
The district’s Parents, Teachers and Students Association is hosting a series of seminars about teen behavior.
The seminar features school faculty and local law enforcement officers speaking about what they see occurring in and out of schools, and what parents can do to help their children understand consequences of their actions.
The last of the three seminars is scheduled at 7 p.m. Jan. 27 at Liberty.