The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

December 13, 2012

Student punished over drug offense

By Kim West
kwest@athensnews-courier.com

— The Limestone County Board of Education has assigned an East Limestone High School seventh-grader to the county’s alternative school for an unspecified drug violation.

The LCBOE held a student disciplinary hearing during a special called meeting Tuesday evening. School officials did not release the female student’s name and specific details regarding her violation.

The student will attend the Limestone County Alternative School until May 2013, when she will be re-evaluated to determine whether she might return to East Limestone in fall 2013.

“She was not expelled, and she was remanded to the alternative school because of extenuating circumstances,” Superintendent Dr. Tom Sisk said. “She will spend the remainder of the school year at the alternative school.”

Sisk did not release details about the case, but he did refer to the school system’s Code of Student Conduct. The code of conduct is part of the 2012-13 student handbook, which is distributed to students and is available online at www.lcsk12.org

“If a person brings something (to school) and represents it as drugs, we’re still going to treat it as drugs,” said Sisk, in response to a question about the drug policy. “If you bring oregano and represent it as marijuana, we’re going to treat it as marijuana.”

He said the student was in violation of school board policy 3.15, which deals with the “unlawful sale, purchase, furnishing or giving, or possession of a drug or drug paraphernalia.”

Drug violations are Class III violations, and penalties include suspension, transfer to the alternative school and expulsion.

Many disciplinary issues are processed at the school-level, but Sisk said any violation related to drugs, weapons or fighting automatically goes to the Central Office.

“If it’s drugs, weapons or fighting — where someone can get injured or hurt — they’re going to be brought before the board because the board is the only authority that can expel,” Sisk said.

Two student disciplinary hearings will be held during a special called board meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, at the Central Office.