Four students at Charlotte Wood Middle School were removed from school in late February after an investigation by administrators and police regarding drugs on campus.
Danville Police Lt. Mark Williams said officers were called to the school Feb. 20 after a member of the school's administrative staff found a student in possession of marijuana.
Williams said that the interview with the female student led to interviews of other students and resulted in a total of four students being cited by police for possession of marijuana. On testimony of one of the students, another of the four was cited for sales of marijuana as well.
Principal Sandy Budde acted to inform parents of the situation through an e-mail. In the message, Budde expressed disappointment that the issue of drug use has come to Charlotte Wood.
"We realize, unfortunately, most schools across America have issues such as these, but they have been very rare, indeed, at Charlotte Wood Middle School," she wrote.
Budde said that while she regrets the incident occurred she is proud of the manner in which it was handled
"I am very proud that so many of our Charlotte Wood students came forward to assist administrators and teachers with this investigation. Key information was provided due to the astute observations of literally dozens of your children," she explained.
Charlotte Wood disciplinary policy states that possession of unlawful drugs is punishable by a range of penalties from a three- to five-day suspension to expulsion from the facility.
Students were suspended from school for several days and the case was turned over to Danville Police Juvenile Officer Jeff Phelps.
Williams said that Phelps will meet with the students and their parents to discuss the juvenile diversion program. In the program, Phelps will recommend a course of action such as community service or counseling. If the parents agree, the student will complete the course of action and the citation is expunged. If the parent does not choose to agree, the case is passed on to the juvenile courts for disposition.
In addition, Budde has said she wants to have teachers address the issue of drugs in the school.
"I don't want to do this as a one-time all-school assembly because I don't think that gives the students the option to ask questions, to talk about how they feel," she said.
Instead she is working on having small classroom-sized discussions to give students the opportunity for some back and forth and to get information out on a more personal basis.