Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Penalties for drug offenses weigh heavily on students

Washington Post

April 30, 2011

Donna St. George

As many high school seniors thrill over their college admission offers, Nick Hanna wonders about the effect of his mistakes in Fairfax County. Four Virginia colleges have turned him down, and two have placed him on wait lists.

What exactly will follow his June graduation, Nick doesn’t know. “Everything has changed,” he said.

It has been nearly a year since Nick, then 17, was disciplined after a search of his backpack at Langley High School produced a small device used to smoke marijuana. That alone would have meant a suspension, but when the device tested positive for residue, school officials imposed a second offense that was more serious: drug possession.

Marijuana use is common among high-schoolers across the country, and in Fairfax more than 38 percent of 12th-graders admit to having tried it, according to a county survey.

Read more HERE.

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