Drugs lead to 6 expulsions

Chronicle Staff

Six middle school students were expelled last week for breaking school rules related to drug use after members of the administration received a series of anonymous tips and conducted an investigation at school. No drugs were found on campus after several students’ backpacks and lockers were searched, Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts said.

“We’ve asked several eighth and ninth-grade students to leave our community for violating clearly stated prohibitions against drug use,” Huybrechts wrote in a letter to parents last Tuesday.

Head of the Middle School Veronica Codrington-Cazeau had received three anonymous notifications of general concerns of drug possession at the Middle School, Huybrechts said. Head of Security Kevin Giberson led the internal investigation on Friday, Feb. 1. The police were not called.

“This is the largest illegal substance violation that I have seen in my years at the Middle School,” Ninth Grade Dean Paul Mastin said.

All week, rumors flared as students caught wind of the investigation and the ensuing expulsions.
“It’s remarkable how the information was disseminated and how quickly the rumors spread,” Huybrechts said.

The students who were expelled will be able to reapply to the school as early as next fall, Huybrechts said.
“They’re going to be asked to reconnect with somebody at the school, perhaps Ms. Cazeau, perhaps me, to report to us what they’ve done in terms of educating themselves and what kind of personal growth has occurred over the period of time,” Huybrechts said. “We can consider their reapplication at an appropriate time.”

In her letter, Huybrechts laid out the rules and punishments for students caught with illegal substances:

“Illegal drug possession, use, or exchange on campus is categorically prohibited, and students who violate such prohibitions will be dismissed. Off-campus behavior will be punished when it constitutes a major rules infraction or is a criminal offense (whether or not the student is charged with a crime).”