On April 13, 2007 I received a phone call from my son's high school stating that they were in the process of booking him and taking him to jail for possession of marijuana. I immediately went to the school were the police officer was completing the required paperwork before transporting my 15 year old son to jail. My son was asked that morning by a fellow student to hold his lunch bag for him (it was a brown paper lunch bag). My son agreed he was very trusting and did not question its contents, after all the fellow student and my son shared a class together. My son went to class and within 30 minutes was escorted out of class, the AP and campus police officer asked to see the bag and found that it contained marijuana.
My son explained what happened and gave the name of the student that gave him the bag. My son had never been in any trouble before, played on the football team and was very well liked by his peers. The "other" student was questioned, cameras were viewed, however the "other" student knew where the cameras were and stood behind a brick column in the school in order to avoid being caught on camera. It later came out from friends that this "other" kid was known to do drugs and sell drugs.
The police officer was told this and commented that there was nothing they could do because there was no evidence as to where my son got the drugs from (the other student was not caught on tape.) The office then commented that it is known that certain students will plant drugs on unsuspecting/naive students in order to make Crimestoppers reports and collect the reward money. Apparently it is a very profitable way for high school kids to make money without putting forth too much effort.
My son was arrested, transported to jail, had to go to court, received 6 months probation, community service, required to take a drug prevention class and placed in the districts ALC program for 30 days where he was no longer allowed to participate in any extracurricular athletic events. He attended ALC for 23 days in which he missed one day due to court. At the end of the school year we received a letter stating that he needed to return to ALC at the beginning of the next school year to complete his remaining 8 days. I contacted school administrators to question why and how they considered this to be in the best interest of my child. Their comment was it's the district policy that he completes his full 30 days.
Furious by this I began reading the districts student code of conduct and found the section on placement beyond of the school year which basically stated that they had to prove he was still a danger or continued to have discipline problems. Around the same time I found out that one of the other students at ALC that started the same day as my son was released. I immediately began emailing and calling school administrators asking them to explain why one child was released, but mine was not.
After weeks of constant communication with school administrators they agreed to release my son stating that they did find inconsistencies with the way they were handling the release of students. My son will now be able to get involved with school and sports as he wants loved. It's been a very difficult time for him and for us as a family. I had a very hard time in the beginning and have taken my son for drug tests by his pediatrician, all of which have thankfully turned up negative. This type of situation puts a strain on students and parents. I saw my son's self esteem disappear in literally one day, which was very difficult. He was normally a very outgoing and social. He now knows not to trust anyone at school friend or not. It's a sad time when we have to teach our children they cannot trust anyone, not even the children they attend school with. Nothing ever happened to the kid that did drugs and was known to sell them. He's still at school!!
The Zero Tolerance Policy needs to be reviewed and revamped for the best interest of our children. You are removing the good kids from school and leaving the problem children there to continue in their path of destruction. They do not care who they bring down with them.