Wednesday, March 24, 1999

Parochial school suspends entire sixth grade


Students didn't report marijuana

BY BERNIE MIXON
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        GREENHILLS — Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School is suspending the entire sixth grade — all recent DARE graduates — for one day for not reporting that a fellow student may have had marijuana.

        Instead, two students went home and told their mothers who then reported the information to the school. The student was then confronted and found to have marijuana, school officials said.

        The sixth grade was suspended because many, if not all of them, had knowledge it. The 30 students are suspended Friday. They must attend a program that day with their parents or face a four-day suspension.

        “We are not taking this lightly. We feel in some way the kids didn't get the point of the drug-education unit,” said Principal Judy Grubb. “They can give you all the answers that you want to hear, but they couldn't come up with doing what they should have done.”

        Although the school is using the situation as a way to teach the students about taking responsibility, some parents are upset that all the students are being punished.

        “What bothers me the most is the forcing. We weren't going to go at all, but it would just hurt our daughter in the long run,” said David Westendorf of Greenhills.

        “I don't think it is fair,” Mr. Westendorf said. “She didn't even know what the stuff was. She heard the rumor three or four times from different kids.”

        But Mrs. Grubb said the students were given three opportunities to say they didn't have knowledge of the drugs being brought to school.

        “These children recently graduated from the DARE program,” Mrs. Grubb said. “There they learned many procedures of what to do if the slightest rumor is given.”

        In a letter that went home last week, parents were told of the meeting they had to attend with their sixth-graders. Tom Pslaumer, referee for Greenhills Juvenile Court will discuss peer pressure, complicity and obstruction of justice during the presentation.

        “We believe as an administrative staff this is such a valuable meeting that we want everyone to come,” Mrs. Grubb said.

        In addition to attending the meeting, the students must also write a paper describing information they received from the meeting and how it applies to knowledge they received through drug education prevention and awareness.

        Parents also must write a reaction to their child's written response on the student's paper and sign the report.

        Students will be permitted to return to school on Monday, March 29.

       



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